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January is the first month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars and one of seven months with the length of 31 days. The first day of the month is known as New Year's Day. It is, on average, the coldest month of the year within most of the Northern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of winter) and the warmest month of the year within most of the Southern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of summer). In the Southern Hemisphere, January is the seasonal equivalent of July in the Northern Hemisphere.
- Janus was invoked at the commencement of most actions; even in the worship of the other gods the votary began by offering wine and incense to Janus. The first month in the year was named from him; and under the title of Matutinus he was regarded as the opener of the day. Hence he had charge of the gates of Heaven, and hence, too, all gates, Januæ, were called after him, and supposed to be under his care. Hence, perhaps, it was, that he was represented with a staff and key, and that he was named the Opener (Patulcius), and the Shutter (Clusius).
- M. A. Dwight, Grecian and Roman Mythology, Janus; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 403.