1. January 3: J.R.R. Tolkien Day
You don’t have a ton of time to prepare, but I’ll trust you already have your Gandalf costume ready. Celebrate Tolkien’s birthday with a viewing of The Hobbit, then return home for a traditional hobbit feast: rabbit stew and taters are perfect for the cold weather. Let your most irritating friends sing all the Tom Bombadil songs.
2. January 7: National Tempura Day
Like you need an excuse to eat tempura. But if one of your New Year’s resolutions was to avoid fried food, now’s your chance to gorge yourself on battered vegetables and shrimp. You don’t have a choice — you’re just observing a holiday! And while you’re out, go ahead and enjoy several sake bombs. Celebrate culture, y’all.
3. January 8: Bubble Bath Day
It’s January 8. You just celebrated National Tempura Day and oil is literally oozing from your pores. It’s gross. So slide into your bath tub with as many bubbles as possible: hell, throw in some rose petals and make it romantic. Bonus if you have someone to share your bath with, but you can always be your own significant other.
4. January 9: Balloon Ascension Day
Oz the Great and Powerful is out in March, and you know what that means — this is the year hot air balloons become sexy again. Or at least sort of hip? Regardless, if you’ve never ascended in a balloon, what better time than Balloon Ascension, which is an actual thing dating back to 1793. Those who are less adventurous could just release a whole bunch of small balloons into the air. That’s always pretty.
5. January 14: Dress Up Your Pet Day
Are you shocked that BuzzFeed would promote a holiday designed to put your small animal in an adorable costume? But hey, if you’re missing Halloween — and really, who isn’t? — you are now encouraged to put your dog or cat into something they will totally hate. Of course, you’ll need a pet to do this. If you don’t have one, dress up a neighbor’s animal. (Get their permission first.)
6. January 16: Appreciate a Dragon Day
Realistically, you appreciate dragons every day. But this is a holiday designed for those of us who maybe don’t give dragons the constant attention they deserve. To celebrate, you can see The Hobbit again (don’t do that), or you can read a book about dragons. This day was created to get young people reading, so enjoy it accordingly. Later you can get drunk and watch How to Train Your Dragon.
7. January 19: Popcorn Day
That “lose weight” resolution is looking less and less likely, right? Hey, it’s not your fault January is chock full of food-based festivities. The easiest way to celebrate Popcorn Day is by going to town on the standard movie theater snack, but feel free to get creative. Make a popcorn necklace. Experiment with toppings. Host a funeral for unpopped kernels.
8. January 21: National Hugging Day
You guys, every day should be National Hugging Day. A day without hugs is a sad, sad day. And remember, this doesn’t have to be a hug between two people. You can hug a pet, or a house plant, or your car (wash it first). What’s important is that feeling of warmth that comes from embracing something. Seriously, though, if you can hug another human being, that option is highly recommended.
9. January 22: Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day
Another holiday tailor-made for BuzzFeed, though I’ll be honest — I’m not really sure what this one means. On the plus side, that gives us an excuse to come up with our own method of celebrating. The basic idea, as far as I’m concerned, is to treat your cat like someone you can have a real conversation with. Since you do that anyway, maybe indulge in some catnip? That’ll get your kitty asking the tough questions.
10. January 30: Inane Answering Message Day
Remember answering machines? No, you don’t. Well, you’re at least familiar with voicemail — that thing on your cell you do your best to avoid. Most everyone hates leaving and listening to messages, so why not spice things up a bit with a completely inane (read: obnoxious) outgoing message. You can always change it in February.
- The South Carolina Senate voted 37-3 in the first vote to remove the Confederate battle flag from statehouse grounds. The bill is expected to pass a two-thirds majority in its third reading on Tuesday, then move to the House.
- Greece has a new finance minister after Yanis Varoufakis resigned on Monday following the country's "no" vote on austerity measures tied to further bailout funds.
- More than 1 million people are expected to attend Pope Francis' mass in Ecuador on Monday.