Dry January - A New Way To Start The Year

Dry January - A New Way To Start The Year

OK, let's get a couple of things out of the way first, number one a Dry January is not a cocktail and number two I'm not talking about the weather. Although I suppose in a way the latter example is kind of correct because Dry January will certainly be dry!

Let's put my attempts at twisting metaphors and wordplay aside so we can talk about what Dry January is and why you might have heard of it. While the phrase has been around for many years it became a lot more popular in 2014.

Dry January is the name used for a public health campaign in the UK, interestingly opinions vary as to when it actually became the name for the campaign. Although what we can say for sure that Alcohol Concern, the group that set-up the campaign, first used the name in 2013 and they later trademarked it in 2014.

What might also surprise many is that the campaign did very well despite being relatively new at the time. Alcohol Concern announced after the event that around 17,000 people in the UK had successfully taken part in the event and this has only grown year on year.

What Is Dry January All About?

As you have already likely guessed, Dry January is a campaign that urges people to stop drinking alcohol for the first month of the year. While the phrase has been used to describe similar events in the past, most notably Finland which held a Sober January campaign in 1942 (as part of the war effort), the Dry January event we know today is a relatively recent creation.

While Alcohol Concern's Dry January is only based in the UK, its message has spread through social media and it is practiced by people in other countries as well. A quick look on Twitter will show many people around the world using the hashtag Dry January.

Dry January's timing is in many way the reason for its success, for one thing, Alcohol Concern set-up the campaign while the social media bubble was still expanding. This has only increased in time and Dry January is a popular talking point on social media today.

Secondly, the choosing on January itself also plays a big part in the success of the campaign. Think about it, why not Dry June or Dry September? January comes right after two big celebrations in December namely Christmas and New Year and for many, this is a time when people enjoy a drink or two.

So, Dry January can be seen as a great way for people to relax their bodies and get that alcohol out of their system. It also brilliantly works its way into the tradition of a New Year's Resolution, many of the most common resolutions are about getting healthier and the Dry January campaign actively promotes just that.

Should You Take Part In The Dry January Campaign?

So, now you know all about what the Dry January campaign is about, I'm willing to bet many people are wondering whether they should join. I can’t really say either way if you should or not it's all up to you, it's certainly a great way to challenge yourself and it makes a good New Year's resolution. Plus you also know you’re not going it alone.

Best of all the Dry January challenge is in many respects very simple and straightforward. Although you might miss that glass of wine after lunch or that drink at the weekend, it does give you the opportunity to discover new things.

You could try some non-alcoholic beverages instead, for one thing, that way you'll get the same taste but without the alcohol. Whether you decide to carry on after January is all up to you, but some research carried out in 2014 did show that around 30% of people who took part in the Dry January challenge did carry on to drink less alcohol afterward.  

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