‘Januaaaaaaaary’: Why first month of the year seems to be taking long

January 18, 2024 - 3:17 PM
January calendar
Eyeglasses on a January calendar (Photo by Leeloo Thefirst)

Do you feel that January is taking that long?

It’s that time of the year when people feel that the month appears to be lengthier than usual.

Netflix Philippines on Wednesday shared stills from the “Twilight” movie starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson and posted it as a meme content in relation to the feeling.

“novemberdecemberjaaaaannnuuuuaaaaryyyyyy,” it said in a caption.

The streaming service also edited the post to make it seem as if the characters of Kristen and Robert were speaking the edited dialogues. It reads:

“How long has it been January?” 

“A while.” 

Similar sentiments were posted on the X (formerly Twitter) platform recently as well.

“Ako lang ba, bakit parang aabot ng January 50? Mid-month pa lang, ang tagal matapos ng Enero,” a user wrote on January 16.

“Every January na lang talaga [ay] feel ko ang tagal tagal ng oras,” another Pinoy commented on January 15.

“1 week [pa lang] ‘yung tweets ko??? ANG TAGAL NAMAN MATAPOS NETONG JANUARY NA ‘TO,” exclaimed another user on January 17.

“3 [three] months na ‘tong January sa tagal,” wrote a different Pinoy on January 16.

The same feeling was felt by some personalities during the same period last year.

These include Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, Miss Universe Philippines 2021 Top 16 finalist Ayn Bernos, radio host DJ Cha-Cha, TV host Bianca Gonzalez, pharmacist-content creator Arshie Larga and former ABS-CBN data analyst Edson Guido.

January has 31 days, among the longest in the calendar. Other months with these numbers of days are March, May, July, August, October and December.

Zhenguang Cai, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong whose research interests include time perception, previously said January could feel long because it succeeds the most frenzied month of the previous year.

“It is possible that re-starting work after the Christmas break leads to a lot of boredom (compared to fun during Christmas break), which in turn [leads] to the impression that time slows down in January,” he shared with The New Statesman in 2018.

The report further said that people are “highly aware of the time” in January since “unlike the later months, we don’t really have anything to look forward to: there are no bank holidays and the summer is months away.”

“In fact, our collective acknowledgment that January is long, has actually made it feel longer, because we are more aware of the time. How we perceive time, at least long stretches of it, reflects how we feel,” it added.

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