The PROFESSIONAL Event, Editorial and Promotional Calendar

Key events, holidays and trends in January 2024

Welcome to 2024! I don't know about you, but the years keep going faster. Let's head into a new one. General themes for January include winter sports, Orthodox Christmas celebrations, New Year's resolutions, weight loss, quitting bad habits, getting in shape, and coming to terms with relationship issues put on hold during the holidays. In the last issue of LEEP Ink, I covered the themed year declarations for 2024, which will drive focus. See January 2023's issue for additional events in January.

The Dr. Martin Luther King holiday (January 15, 2024) in the United States will round out the four big holiday weekends (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, MLK) in the United States, meaning business gets back to business on the 16th. The US is also facing another federal government funding vote in Congress after several fiscal Band-Aids that, if not passed, could lead to a government shutdown on January 19 or February 2, 2024. Expect it to suck in the news cycle and cause havoc on Wall Street.

In sports, Western Asia is highlighted by the Dakar Rally (January 5-19) in Saudi Arabia and the Asia Cup (January 14 - February 10) in Qatar.
In entertainment news, the film festival season starts with the Sundance Film Festival, January 18-28; the Golden Globes will be on January 7, and the annual Primetime Emmy Awards will occur on January 15 after being rescheduled from September. Finally, the International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) will be held in Las Vegas between January 9 and 12.

 We'll start January with rescuing feathered friends. Parakeets parrots cockatoos and other exotic birds often end up in shelters  
 Parakeets, parrots, cockatoos, and other exotic birds often end up in shelters—photo Los Muertos Crew


Date: January 1-31, 2024
Location: United States
Champion: Unofficial Event, No Sponsor.

If you live in West Los Angeles, you may have seen the flock of green parrots on the west side near the Galleria on Pico. Conventional wisdom is that a few birds escaped from a pet store fire sometime in the 1980s, and now they number in the 1000s. It’s quite a sight the first time you see them.

Parrots are not native to North America, but exotic birds are popular pets. Sometimes, they get lost, their owners pass, or they are surrendered, where they end up in shelters and need to find new homes. Adopt a Rescue Bird Month highlights that animal rescue helps all animals, including birds. If you dream of owning a bird, check with your local shelter and bird rescue before purchasing from a pet store. You might be able to give a bird its forever home.

Duarte is considered the father of the Dominican Republic  
Duarte is considered the father of the Dominican Republic.


Date: January 26, [1813]
Location: Dominican Republic
Champion: Historical Anniversary

Juan Pablo Duarte, born on January 26, 1813, in Santo Domingo, is a revered figure in Dominican history, often hailed as the father of Dominican independence. He was known for his fervent dedication to liberating his homeland from Haitian rule, which he achieved through establishing the Dominican Republic in 1844.

Duarte's early years were tumultuous in Hispaniola, an island shared by the modern-day Dominican Republic and Haiti. The eastern part of the island was under Haitian occupation following its unification by Haiti in 1822. This political climate profoundly influenced Duarte, who sought an education in Europe and thrived on the liberal and nationalist ideologies sweeping the continent. Completing his education, he returned to Hispaniola in the 1830s and discovered a society yearning for autonomy. He became the driving force behind a secret society named La Trinitaria, established in 1838.

La Trinitaria attracted like-minded young nationalists who aimed to overthrow the Haitian government and proclaim a sovereign Dominican state. Duarte's leadership and organizational skills were instrumental in unifying the factions opposing Haitian rule. The movement faced numerous challenges, including internal dissent and the Haitian army. However, with dogged determination, the Trinitarians ultimately prevailed and declared the Dominican Republic independent on February 27, 1844. This historic event marked the culmination of Duarte's lifelong dream and efforts.

Despite his pivotal role in the country's independence, Duarte's life after 1844 was anything but easy. Political rivalries and turmoil led to his exile, and he spent many years abroad, primarily in Venezuela. A sense of disappointment and detachment from the political affairs of the Dominican Republic marked Duarte's later years. Juan Pablo Duarte died on July 15, 1876, in Caracas, Venezuela. His legacy is celebrated in the Dominican Republic, where he is remembered annually as a national hero and the architect of the nation's independence on Duarte Day, a national holiday in the Dominican Republic.

Nobody likes to be caught in the middle of feuding parentsphoto Monstera  
 Nobody likes to be caught in the middle of feuding parents—photo Monstera


Date: January 1-31, 2024
Location: Worldwide
Champion: Rosalind Sedacca

International Child-Centered Divorce Month seeks to get tools into the hands of parents to minimize the impact of divorce on children. If you’re a parent coping with divorce-related issues, professionals worldwide are here to provide free products and services to you all through January.

Resources available include divorce attorneys, mediators, divorce coaches, therapists, financial planners, and other professionals on four continents who have joined this educational campaign. Together, they share insights, advice, tips, and tools to help you create the most favorable outcome for families transitioning through divorce.

A healthy guard dog in Romania with adequate shelterphoto LD Lewis  
A healthy guard dog in Romania with adequate shelter—photo LD Lewis


Date: January 1-31, 2024
Location: Worldwide
Champion: PETA

With temperatures dropping, animals are vulnerable to frostbite and worse. PETA created National Unchain a Dog Month to alert pet owners to the dangers of leaving their pets chained outside during winter.
Animals need shelter, just like people. If you cannot bring your pets inside, make sure they have adequate protection and access to food and water that isn't frozen.

Also, watch for stray dogs hiding under cars and cats under car hoods. Cats often crawl into parked cars' engines to keep warm during winter.

   A woman from Bahia in traditional clothes celebrating Nosso Senhor do Bomfimpromptography LD Lewis  
A woman from Bahía in traditional clothes celebrating Nosso Senhor do Bomfim.—promptography LD Lewis.


Date: January 11-21, 2024
Location: Salvador, Bahía, Brazil
Champion: Nossa Senhora da Conceição Church

The Nosso Senhor do Bonfim Festival (Our Father of Happy Endings) is a vibrant and deeply spiritual event that annually graces Salvador in the northeastern state of Bahía, Brazil. It is a fusion of Catholic and Candomblé traditions.
Candomblé is an Afro-Brazilian religious tradition created during the colonial era. Most Candomblé people are descendants of slaves. Their culture combines elements of African traditions, particularly those of the Yoruba, Fon, and Bantu peoples, with influences from Roman Catholicism.

At the heart of this celebration is the Nosso Senhor do Bonfim church, an iconic religious site. Participants wear traditional white attire and embark on a procession that stretches approximately eight kilometers (five miles) from the Church of Conceição da Praia (Church of the Conception by the Beach) to the Nosso Senhor do Bonfim church. This pilgrimage blends joyous chants, music, dancing, and fervent prayers bolstered by images of Jesus and Candomblé deities.

One of the most striking symbols of this festival is the "fitas", or wish ribbons, usually in vibrant hues. Ribbons are tied to the church gates or worn on wrists; each knot represents a wish or prayer. Festival goers believe their wishes come true once the ribbon falls off naturally. The festival features an intriguing ritual known as the "Lavagem do Bonfim" (Washing of the Bonfim). Women dressed in baianas, a traditional Bahian attire, ceremonially wash the church's steps. This act, imbued with religious significance, is said to purify the church and attract blessings for the new year.

The ten-day festival includes culinary delights, music, and street dancing. The rhythms of samba and Afro-Brazilian beats resonate throughout the city, making the Nosso Senhor do Bonfim Festival a favorite with locals and tourists alike.

There is nothing worse than being in a relationship you know should endbase photo Pixabay  
Nothing is worse than being in a relationship you know should end—base photo Pixabay.


Date: January 20, 2024
Location: Worldwide
Champion: Statistical Event

International Break-up Day marks the single day each year when more romantic couples will split than any other. On January 20th, the holiday season is three weeks behind, and the next significant stressor on relationships, Valentine's Day, remains three weeks ahead. 

Why do romantic relationships break up?

Money, different views on children, substance abuse, mental and physical illness, all of these issues can play into the end of a relationship. However, the most common themes contributing to "Hit the Road, Jack (or Jill)" include communication breakdown, infidelity, and divergent life paths.
  • COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN—When couples struggle to effectively express their needs, desires, and concerns, misunderstandings and frustrations lead to emotional distance and isolation.
  • INFIDELITY—Acts of betrayal, whether physical or emotional, shatter the foundation of trust and mutual respect.
  • DIVERGENT LIFE PATHS—As individuals evolve, their needs and visions for the future may no longer align, leading to a natural drift. Divergent break-ups are particularly common in relationships that begin at a young age.
International Break-up Day is an opportunity to take stock of your relationship, identify areas that need work, and recommit. It is also a day for honesty. Is your relationship a positive influence in your life or a negative? If negative, it may be time to move on.
 Wear sneakers with your suit to support cancer fundraisers during Suits and Sneakers Weekphoto Karl Rayson  
Wear sneakers with your suit to support cancer fundraisers during Suits and Sneakers Week—photo Karl Rayson.


Date: January 22-28, 2024
Location: United States
Champion: Coaches vs Cancer

Coaches vs. Cancer's Suits and Sneakers Week is a nationwide event uniting athletic coaches behind the American Cancer Society's lifesaving mission. During the week, coaches wear sneakers (athletic shoes, runners, tennis shoes) with suits as a reminder of nutrition and physical activity's role in reducing cancer risk.

The choice of sneakers with suits is more than a fashion statement; it represents the practical readiness to "get moving" against cancer. It emphasizes the importance of physical activity in reducing cancer risk and improving the health of those undergoing treatment.

Though a formal fundraising event in the United States, participation in other nations and regions has increased in previous years with localized campaigns supporting organizations and cancer survivors in each region.

La Tropicale Amissa Bongo is a highly demanding long-range African bicycle racephoto Midia  
La Tropicale Amissa Bongo is a highly demanding long-range African bicycle race—photo Midia.


Date: January 22-28, 2024—POSTPONED DUE TO MILITARY COUP
Location: Gabón
Champion: Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)

I thought about removing this event, which has an 18-year history due to the ongoing military coup and fighting but decided not to. It's an example of the dynamic nature of events and why they're hard to cover.

La Tropicale Amissa Bongo is a thrilling race of endurance, speed, and competition woven into the fabric of the African landscape. Named after Omar Bongo's daughter, Gabon's late President, this international professional cycling race in Gabon showcases the region's culture and scenic landscapes.

Since its inception in 2006, La Tropicale Amissa Bongo has become a beacon for cycling in Africa, attracting teams and riders worldwide. The race's route, which often changes from year to year, takes riders through dense rainforests, alongside glittering coastal lines, and into bustling cities. The riders must negotiate steep climbs, treacherous descents, and all the unpredictability of the equatorial region's weather.

Local communities along the route embrace the race, coming out in droves to cheer on the cyclists. For many in Gabon, La Tropicale Amissa Bongo is more than a sporting event; it's a source of pride and a symbol of the nation's growing presence on the international stage.



Foundation Days: January 1-2, 1912—Taiwan
Heroes Day: January 20, 1973—Guinea-Bissau

 Independence Day:
  • January 11, 1944—Morocco
  • January 1, 1804—Haiti
  • January 4, 1948—Myanmar
  • January 1, 1956—Sudan
Liberation Day:
  • January 1, 1899/1959—Cuba
  • January 17, 1945—Poland
  • January 13, 1967—Togo
National Day: January 31, 1968—Nauru
National Unity Day: January 11, 1723—Nepal



  • AFC Championship Game (American Football): January 28, 2024—United States
  • African Cup of Nations (Football): January 13-11, 2024—Ivory Coast
  • Asia Cup (Football): January 14 - February 10—Qatar
  • Australian Open (Tennis): January 14-28, 2024—Australia
  • Dakar Rally (Auto Racing): January 5-19, 2024—Saudi Arabia
  • Fort Worth Rodeo: January 12 - February 3, 2024—United States
  • NFC Championship Game (American Football): January 28, 2024—United States
  • NHL Winter Classic (Ice Hockey): January 1, 2024—United States
  • Santos Down Under (Cycling): January 14-22, 2024—Australia
  • The American Express (Golf): January 15-21, 2024—United States
  • Winter X Games (Extreme Sports): January 26-28, 2024—United States
  • Winter Youth Olympics (Multi-sport): January 19-February 2, 2024—South Korea


Trehill Estate in Kenn Devon Exeterphoto Michael Brech  
Trehill Estate in Kenn, Devon, United Kingdom—photo Michael Brech.


Date: January 11, 2024
Location: United Kingdom
Champion: Heritage Fund

National Heritage Treasures Day, annually commemorated in the United Kingdom, is an initiative of the Heritage Fund UK. Its creation emerged from a deep-seated appreciation for the rich cultural and historical tapestry of the United Kingdom and has become a vital part of the nation's calendar.

The awareness event preserves and accentuates the diverse historical assets of the country, whether in the arts, buildings, geography, or natural history.
National Heritage Treasures Day serves as a poignant reminder of the United Kingdom's multifaceted heritage, ranging from historic buildings and monuments to natural landscapes and intangible cultural traditions.

Heritage refers to more than buildings. It includes writers like William Shakespeare and Robert Burns, artists JMW Turner and Francis Bacon, and even entertainers like The Beatles.

Seven of the United Kingdom's best-known heritage treasures include:

1. Stonehenge—Wiltshire, England. Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument famed for its ring of standing stones and a symbol of mystery and ancient history.

2. The Tower of London—River Thames in central London. Historically, it was a castle, prison, palace, or treasury; today, it houses the Crown Jewels and is a top tourist destination due to its rich, albeit sometimes gruesome, history.

3. Edinburgh Castle—Edinburgh, Scotland. This historic fortress witnessed many of the defining events of Scottish history.

4. The Roman Baths—Bath, England. The Roman Baths are a well-preserved ancient site and provide a unique insight into life during Roman-occupied Britain.

5. The British Museum—London. Created during the reign of Queen Victoria, this world-renowned museum houses a vast collection of world art and artifacts, including the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles.

6. Canterbury Cathedral—Canterbury, England. Established in 597 AD, the cathedral is renowned for its stunning architecture.

7. The Lake District—Northwest England. The Lake District is known for its picturesque lakes, forests, mountains, cultural landscape, and inclusion in the writings of William Wordsworth, Richard Adams, and Beatrix Potter.

Heritage Treasures Day typically involves educational workshops, guided tours, and exhibitions showcasing the United Kingdom's heritage.

 That's it for January 2024. The next issue will cover February. Please share, like, or comment. Happy New Year! See you in three weeks. Thank you for the gift of your time!

Last updated: Dec 28th 2023

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