From exploring why we celebrate turning one year older to discovering birthday traditions around the world, the series “All About Birthdays” brings you fun facts about the day we all celebrate.
After the hectic holiday season, January presents us all with a much-needed sense of peace and rest. The Christmas parties and travel have passed, work probably isn’t back to full speed yet, and there’s an outside chance the kids are still occupied with their presents. January is also a great time to kick back and enjoy sports — the NFL playoffs have arrived, the NBA has just begun, and that couch by the fireplace with a great view of the TV is the perfect spot to recharge. Though the year’s first month is a refreshing time for everyone, those born in January are the recipients of uniquely personalized fresh starts, as well as some lifetime advantages.
January birth brings better chances of fame and power
A Journal of Social Sciences study involving celebrities from a range of professions found that January babies appear to have the greatest chance of becoming famous. They are natural leaders as well — Science Direct published a study from several senior business and finance professors in China, Singapore, and Canada, which found January to be one of the top four birth months for CEOs of S&P 500 companies. The Wall Street Journal believes this big-boss tendency relates to a January baby’s age advantage in the classroom. Because kindergarten enrollment cutoff dates fall between September and January, summer babies are usually the youngest in their classes, and January babies, some of the oldest.
January babies have less stress, more doctorates
A study by the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology involving 400 university students found that those born during the winter months were much less prone to irritability and mood swings than those born during the summer. This natural cool-headedness must help when tackling difficult school curriculums. The Office of National Statistics has found that the most common career for a January-born individual is a medical doctor. The second most common job is that of a debt collector, a position certainly aided by an even temper.
January birth flowers display strength and purity
The carnation, a small yet hearty blossom with a 2,000-year cultivation history throughout the Mediterranean, is one of January’s two birth flowers. Known scientifically as Dianthus caryophyllus (a Latin translation of “Flower of the Gods”), carnations boast layers of soft, feathery blooms in an array of colors, each of which carries different meanings. Dark red carnations symbolize deep love, while lighter reds express friendship and personal appreciation. Yellow says “I miss you”, while white carnations communicate well wishes and good luck. Coincidentally, the birth flower of this first month of the year is also the official flower of the first wedding anniversaries.
January’s second birth flower is the delicate, bell-shaped snowdrop, one of the earliest of all flowers to blossom each year. Native to southern Asia and Europe, a snowdrop reaches but 3-4 inches tall, with a downturned bloom that hides a patterned green and yellow center. Known by botanists as Galanthus nivalis (Greek and Latin terms that mean “milk-white flower” and “resembling snow”), a snowdrop’s simple purity has come to symbolize rebirth, faith, and the kind of natural beauty that mankind just can’t replicate.
January’s zodiac signs are honorable high-achievers
The majority of those born in January are Capricorns (Dec. 22 to Jan. 19), ambitious yet humble bunch who tend to achieve their grand plans in a modest manner. Ever-focused and responsible, Capricorns make great managers in professional settings, though they may need to be reminded to relax, as their determination can find them forgetting to slow down and enjoy life. When they do stop to catch their breath, Capricorns prefer to spend free time in familiar settings alongside close friends and family. Notable Capricorns include Michelle Obama, Denzel Washington, Jared Leto, Betty White, and Isaac Newton.
Though the dreamy Aquarius (Jan. 21 to Feb. 19) tend to spend plenty of quiet time pondering their own existence, they also care a great deal about the world around them and are likely to be strong supporters of charities and environmental groups. An Aquarius tends to make their mind up once and stick with it, so much so that they may have problems just hearing others out. At the right time, this determination can be invaluable—the true Aquarius refuses to ever compromise their morals for outside acceptance. Oprah Winfrey, Harry Styles, Abraham Lincoln, Alicia Keys, and Thomas Edison are all born under Aquarius.