January is here, and the weather is colder, so we are moving slower and making plans to stay inside. January is named for the Roman god Janus, who was the spirit of doorways. There were lots of archways, doorways, and ceremonial gateways built in Rome to honor Janus. Encyclopedia Britannica says that some scholars believe Janus was the god of all beginnings. The beginning of the day, month, and year were sacred to him. The festival for Janus was January 9.
In the time of Julius Caesar, the calendar was 365 days divided into 12 months of either 29 or 31 days. This Julian calendar was developed by Julius Caesar in 45AD. The Julian calendar was adjusted in the time of Pope Gregory XIII (1582), and the Gregorian calendar is what we use today. As I was reading up on the history of the calendar, I discovered that even the Julian calendar had to be adjusted so that the equinox was about the same time each year. The equinox is either of the two times in the year when the sun is exactly above the equator, and day and night are of equal length.
The adjustments to the Julian and Gregorian calendars were called leap years. This year – 2016 – is a leap year. That means we will add in an extra day to make sure the calendar stays lined up with the astronomical year. “It takes the Earth approximately 365.242199 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds – to circle once around the sun. This is called a tropical year. The Gregorian calendar has only 365 days in a year, so if we didn’t add a day on February 29 nearly every 4 years, we would lose almost six hours off our calendar every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days!” http://www.timeanddate.com/date/leap-day.html
January is one of seven months in the year that has 31 days. You remember the rhyme – 30 days has September, April, June and November, all the rest have 31, except February. If you can’t remember this rhyme, you can use the knuckles and spaces between the knuckles to remember how many days in a month. When I was in school, my teacher taught me that the knuckles had 31 days and spaces between the knuckles had 30 days. If you start on a knuckle with January, the space will be February and so on. It will always line up even if you start on the opposite end.
On January 8, our Winter Catalog will be available to the public. If you attended a program in 2015, you are automatically on our mailing list. If you did not attend, you can give us a call and we will mail you one, or stop by the lobby of the Center for Lifelong Learning and get one.
On January 14, Mayor Ronnie Marks will be the featured speaker for the Lunch and Learn segment called Effective Leadership. This course is part of the Transformational Leadership Certificate Program. Students who wish to earn the certificate must attend five sessions of the certificate program and read at least one suggested text. The program is scheduled from 11:30am to 1:00pm at the Center for Lifelong Learning. Fee for this segment is $25/person and includes your lunch. You can register online at www.athens.edu/CLL or call us at 256-233-8260.
Learning is just beginning for January.
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262
By: Wanda Campbell