So 2013 is finally drawing to a close. Now that 2014 is upon us, it's worth taking a few minutes to check out the 2014 calendar and get acquainted with this year's holidays, key dates and more.
People around the world are ringing in New Year's Day with a wide range of celebrations, from launching off fireworks to drinking champagne and even just laying on the couch watching the ball drop in New York's Times Square on TV. New Year's Day 2014 comes next, a day of hangovers, resolutions and reflection on the triumphs and trials of 2013.
But the first day of January is also a perfect time to look forward to the new year, and to start mapping out our obligations, holidays, special events and other plans. So here's a list of helpful information, quirky facts and other things you may want to know about the new calendar as January 2014 gets under way, all followed by a listing of when major holidays will fall this year.
Though the new year of the Chinese zodiac will not begin until the Lunar New Year on the last day of January, it's worth noting that 2014 is the Year of the Horse, which is recognized to be the Chinese people's ethos – making unremitting efforts to improve themselves. It is "energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able," according to TravelChinaGuide.com. So say goodbye to the Year of the Snake.
Over the course of the year, there will also be a number of major elections including to the United Nations Security Council, U.S. Congress and governorships and European Parliament, as well as votes in Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Tonga, South Africa, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Macau, Belgium, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania, Sweden, Onatrio, and a number of other places across the world.
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Speaking of politics, members of the U.S. House of Representatives can breathe a sigh of relief, as they will work only 113 days in 2014, down from the already-low 126 days they were scheduled to toil on Capitol Hill in 2013. They get $174,000 for their abbreviated efforts, in case you were wondering. Paid for by the American taxpayer.
And at midnight on Jan. 1, New York City will officially inaugurate its new mayor, Bill de Blasio, in a private ceremony at his home in Brooklyn. He will be the first New York mayor not named Michael Bloomberg in 12 years.
This year Sochi, Russia, will host the Winter Olympics, which begin on Feb. 7. Be sure to catch the excitement, as 12 new winter sports events, including snowboard slopestyle and women's ski jumping, will debut this year.
In sports, the Super Bowl will be Feb. 2 in 2014, the Kentucky Derby is May 3, the UEFA Champions League Final is May 24 and the French Open begins May 26. Here's a full list of important sporting events taking place in 2014.
The list could go on nearly forever, as 2014 is bound to be a year of many breakthroughs and exciting events. But in the interest of brevity, we'll leave you with a breakdown of the dates on which many major American holidays will take place in 2014. There are also many other lesser-known holidays from Science Fiction Day (Jan. 2) to Visit the Zoo Day (Dec. 27), which you can learn about here.
Jan. 1: New Year's Day
Jan. 20: Martin Luther King Day
Feb. 14: Valentine's Day
Feb. 17: Presidents' Day
April 18: Good Friday
April 20: Easter Sunday
May 11: Mother's Day
May 26: Memorial Day
June 15: Father's Day
July 4: Independence Day
Sept. 1: Labor Day
Oct. 13: Columbus Day
Oct. 31: Halloween
Nov. 11: Veterans Day
Nov. 27: Thanksgiving Day
Dec. 25: Christmas
Dec. 31: New Year's Eve