January Jig

Winter Dancing, Brian Kershishnik

New Year's Dancing

Jan 3

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

New Year's Dancing
January Jig
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Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"Janus am I; oldest of potentates;
Forward I look, and backward,
and below I count, as god of avenues and gates,
The years that through my portals come and go."

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)

Calendar keeping has always been complex. Originally March was the first month of the 10 month Roman calendar (which did not tally the winter days), the month when Rome dispatched its armies and the consuls entered office. However, to overcome the problem with the 10 month year of 304 days, two new months, January and February (plus an occasional month between February and March called Intercalaris to deal with the leap years and other issues like short months) were created to cover the whole 354 day lunar calendar some time around 710-700 BC, and the new first month, January, was selected based on its position with respect to the winter solstice. Later Julius Caesar reformed the calendar to account for the solar year of 365 days in 46 BC.

January Jig

January, on average, is 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).


January (in Latin, Ianuarius) is named after Janus, the god of beginnings and transitions, protector of gates and doorways.

Traditionally, the original Roman calendar consisted of 10 months only totaling 304 days, winter being considered a month-less period. Around 713 BC, the semi-mythical successor of Romulus, King Numa Pompilius, is supposed to have added the months of January and February, so that the calendar covered a standard lunar year (354 days).

Historical names for January include its original Roman designation, Ianuarius, the Saxon term Wulf-monath (meaning "wolf month") and Charlemagne's designation Wintarmanoth ("winter/cold month"). 

For a discussion on poetry associate with the "barren month" of January (for us Northern Hemispherians), click the more cheerful scene of skaters from the 1820s.

January Jig
January Jig

Jan    Feb    Mar    Apr    May    Jun    Jul    Aug    Sep    Oct    Nov    Dec

The majority of dance descriptions referenced on this site have been taken from the


Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary or the

Scottish Country Dancing Database 


Snapshots of dance descriptions are provided as an overview only.  As updates may have occurred, please click the dance description to be forwarded to a printable dance description or one of the official reference sources.

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