Sunday, January 1, 2012
January: Rhymes and Lore
January was named after the Roman deity Janus, god of gates, doorways, and bridges; overseer of beginning and ending times, and all transitions. He was depicted as having two faces, because he both looked backward at the past and forward to the future. In Rome, the temple of Janus had gates that were open in times of war and closed in times of peace: in the long history of the Empire, the Gates of Janus were closed only a handful of times.
January brings the snow,
Makes our feet and fingers glow.
God be here, God be there,
We wish you all a happy year;
God without, God within,
Let the Old Year out and the New Year in.
He who is born on New Year's morn
Will have his way as sure as you're born.
Married when the year is new,
He'll be loving, kind, and true.
The country people of England used to say "The blackest month of all the year/ Is the month of Janiveer." This was not only because the sun is at its feeblest in January but also because all sorts of otherworldly beings were supposed to roam the earth during the critical twelve days following Christmas.