Holidays Calendar for January 31, 2014

On January 31, Nauru celebrates its Independence Day. The country became the world's smallest independent republic on January 31, 1968.

Traditional Day of Offering is a Bhutanese holiday celebrated on the first day of the twelfth month of the Bhutanese calendar. It typically falls in January or February.


Countries that use calendars based on the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar celebrate New Year on the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar. Commonly referred to as Chinese New Year, the holiday has different names in different countries: Spring Festival in China, Ten in Vietnam, Losar in Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan, Seollal in Korea, and Tsagaan Sar in Mongolia.


Meher Baba was an Indian mystic and spiritual leader who publicly declared himself the Avatar (God in human form). On January 31, his followers, both in India and abroad, celebrate Meher Baba Remembrance Day, referred to as Amartithi.

Me-Dam-Me-Phi is the most important ancestor veneration festival in the traditional religion of the Ahom people, an ethnic group from the Indian states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. It is celebrated annually on January 31 and has the status of a public holiday in Assam.

The zebra is one of the most recognizable animals in the world, so it is not surprising that it has its own holiday. International Zebra Day is celebrated every January 31 to raise awareness of the zebra’s conservation status and encourage people to contribute to zebra conservation.

Backward Day is one of those bizarre informal holidays with unknown origin which can be really fun. It is celebrated on January 31.

Estimated 100 million children grow up on urban streets around the world and this phenomenon is more prevalent in economically unstable and developing countries in Eastern Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia. Street Children's Day, started by Austrian organization Jugend Eine Welt, raises public awareness of this problem.

The last day of January is National Brandy Alexander Day. If you haven't tried this incredibly tasty cocktail, do it today on January 31.

Inspire Your Heart with Art Day, which is celebrated on January 31, is not a legitimate holiday, but it is promoted by various artistic organizations as the day to celebrate all forms of art.

January 31 is a perfect day to cozy up with a big mug of hot chocolate (don’t forget marshmallows!) because it is National Hot Chocolate Day. This unofficial holiday celebrates a delicious beverage that is known and loved around the globe.

National Big Wig Day is celebrated annually on the last Friday of January. This amazing holiday is about two things: having silly fun to get rid of the post holiday blues and donating to charity to make other people’s lives better.


National Bug Busting Day is observed in the United Kingdom three times a year: on January 31, June 15, and October 31. It is a school campaign that aims to reduce the incidence of lice and prevent their spread across classrooms.

National Preschool Health and Fitness Day is observed annually on the last Friday of January. It was created to highlight the importance of healthy eating and physical education in preschool children, as well as to promote healthy lifestyle habits from an early age.


This Day in History

  • 2014 Died: Sebastian Barker, British poet notable for a visionary manner which has been compared to William Blake.
  • 2013 An explosion caused by a gas leak occurred at the Pemex Executive Tower in Mexico city. It killed at least 37 people and injured another 126.
  • 2011 A winter storm late nicknamed the 2011 Groundhog Day Blizzard hit North Ameria. It caused $1.8 billion in damage across the U.S. and Canada and killed 24 people.
  • 2010 James Cameron's Avatar became the first film to earn over $2 billion worldwide after being internationally released on December 16, 2009.
  • 2009 An oil spill ignition occurred in Molo, Kenya. It killed at least 122 people and critically injured over 200 more. The fire was the second such disaster in Kenya that week.
  • 1995 Died: George Abbott, American playwright, screenwriter, theater producer, and director whose prolific career spanned more than 90 years.
  • 1981 Born: Justin Timberlake, American singer, songwriter, actor, and record producer. He rose to prominence as a member of the boy band NSYNC formed in 1995.
  • 1977 Born: Kerry Washington, American actress who gained wide public recognition for her role as Olivia Pope in the ABC drama Scandal.
  • 1976 Died: Ernesto Miranda, American criminal who inspired the Miranda warning, a warning given by police in the U.S. to criminal suspects in police custody.
  • 1974 Died: Samuel Goldwyn (born Szmul Gelbfisz), American film producer who is best known for founding several motion picture studios in Hollywood.
  • 1973 Died: Ragnar Frisch, Norwegian economist and the co-winner with Jan Tinbergen of the first Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1969.
  • 1973 Born: Portia de Rossi, Australian-American actress, model, and philanthropist known for her role as lawyer Nelle Porter on the TV series Ally McBeal.
  • 1970 Born: Minnie Driver, British and American actress who rose to prominence with her breakout role in the 1995 film Circle of Friends, opposite Chris O'Donnell.
  • 1961 Ham the Chimp (also known as Ham the Astrochimp) became the first Hominidae to be launched into space. He had been chosen from 40 chimpanzee flight candidates.
  • 1960 Born: Grant Morrison, Scottish comic book author and playwright. His notable works include Animal Man, Batman, The Invisibles, New X-Men, and others.
  • 1958 Explorer 1 was launched from LC-26 at the Cape Canaveral Missile Annex, Florida. It was the first successful launch of a satellite of the United States.
  • 1956 Died: Alan Alexander Milne, English novelist, poet, and playwright who is best known for his children's books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh.
  • 1956 Born: John Lydon, English singer-songwriter, TV presenter, and painter. He is best known as the lead singer of the punk rock band the Sex Pistols.
  • 1955 Died: John Mott, long-serving leader of YMCA (the Young Men's Christian Association). He was awarded the 1946 Nobel Piece Prize.
  • 1954 Died: Edwin Howard Armstrong, American electrical engineer and inventor who invented modern frequency modulation (FM) radio transmission.
  • 1949 These Are My Children was first aired on NBC. It was the first network daytime drama series. The show was created by Irna Phillips.
  • 1945 United States Army soldier Eddie Slovik was executed for desertion. It was the first and only such execution of an American soldier since the Civil War.
  • 1938 Born: Beatrix of the Netherlands (Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard) who reigned as Queen of the Netherlands from 1980 until her abdication in 2013.
  • 1933 Died: John Galsworthy, English novelist and playwright who was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Literature. His most notable works include The Forsyte Saga.
  • 1921 Born: Mario Lanza (stage name of Alfred Arnold Cocozza), American tenor, actor, and Hollywood movie star who was awarded two Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • 1915 Germany was the first country to make a large-scale use of poison gas in warfare in the Battle of Bolimov against Russia during World War I.
  • 1881 Born: Irving Langmuir, American chemist and physicist who was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in surface chemistry.
  • 1868 Born: Theodore William Richards, American chemist who was the first American scientist to receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1914).
  • 1865 The United States House of Representatives passed the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution that abolished slavery and involuntary servitude.
  • 1797 Born: Franz Schubert, Austrian composer who was extremely prolific during his short lifetime (Schubert died at 31 having written over 1,500 works).
  • 1606 Died: Guy Fawkes, English conspirator who was the leader of the Gunpowder Plot. He jumped from the scaffold where he was to be hanged and broke his neck.