Special Days to Celebrate in January


January can be a challenging month to keep students excited. Between coming back to school after holiday break and the cold weather in many parts of the country, January can drag a bit. So, try spicing up your classroom by celebrating a few of these unique days.

  • January 13 th: Friday the 13th

    Many people are afraid of the Friday the 13 th; there’s even a name for the phobia: paraskavedekatriaphobia. But, in reality, there’s no reason to be afraid. To help students overcome any of their fears, ask them to research some of the superstitions that surround Friday the 13 th and write a blog article explaining what they learn.

  • January 15 th: National Hat Day

    National Hat Day is exactly what the name implies—a day to wear hats! Ask your students to wear an interesting hat to school and to write a story about the origins of their headwear. You may even consider having your students create a hat to wear.

  • January 16 th: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

    Martin Luther King, Jr. Day became a federal holiday in 1986 and serves to honor the legacy of Dr. King and his importance to the Civil Rights Movement. To honor Dr. King, ask students to research Dr. King’s many accomplishments and then lead a discussion about his impact on the world. You can find resources for different grade levels on the NEA website.

  • January 18 th: National Winnie the Pooh Day

    National Winnie the Pooh Day celebrates A.A. Milne’s birthday, the author who brought Winnie the Pooh to life. To celebrate, read a story, have a teddy bear picnic, or create stories about bears that include bear drawings.

  • January 24 th: National Compliment Day

    National Compliment Day, created in 1998 by Kathy Chamberlin, is the perfect day to say something kind to someone else. Go around the classroom and have students give a compliment to the person sitting next to them.

  • January 28 th: Chinese New Year

    The Chinese New Year is the most important traditional holiday in China. The date changes every year based on the lunar calendar. Ask students to research the Chinese New Year and explain its origin. In addition, you can find great resources on the TeacherVision site.

  • January 31 st: National Backward Day

    End the month by celebrating National Backward Day. Wear your shirt backward, eat dessert first, or see who can say the alphabet backward the fastest. Use your imagination and end the month with a little fun!

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