Animal Crossing New Horizons: January Overview

Christmas might be over, but it's the beginning of a whole new year. Get ready for the New Year's Countdown, commencing December 31st and running into January 1st. Depending on which hemisphere your island is based in, watch out for the Fishing Tournament and Bug Off this month.

Animal Crossing New Horizons January Overview Cover

January has arrived in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the first month of a whole new year. The month, and indeed the year, starts off with a bang with the New Year’s Countdown. Things might wind down after that, but there’s plenty to do. There’s new fish and bugs to find, plus a last chance to grab those that might soon disappear for a while! There’s also plenty of birthdays to keep an eye out for. You’ve also got the Fishing Tournament to look forward to, and the Bug Off in the Southern Hemisphere.

Let’s jump right in and see what the month of January has to offer for New Horizons.

If you're in the Northern Hemisphere, snow will stick around for the whole month.

If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, snow will stick around for the whole month.


What’s happening in January? Quite a few things, in fact. The main event is the New Year’s Countdown, which starts on December 31st but continues into January 1st. Later in the month, watch out for the Fishing Tournament, and the Bug Off for Southern Hemisphere players.


There’s nothing like celebrating the end of a year and the beginning of a new one with a New Year’s Countdown. That’s exactly what you can do in New Horizons. (Note: Although the countdown officially takes place at the very end of December, it runs into January 1st, so the event is included for this month.) Get ready to count down to midnight with your fellow villagers and watch a marvelous fireworks display. The fireworks start at midnight and last until 2am. Don’t forget to buy your exclusive New Year’s hats and party poppers to celebrate in style!

Animal Crossing New Horizons New Year Countdown Event! (2021)

(Video by Dossie)

Be aware that Resident Services will be closed for the duration of New Year’s Eve (December 31st). The entrance will be blocked by the New Year’s countdown board. Keep this in mind if you want to access anything at Resident Services. Make sure you do or get everything you want from there before this date, or wait until January 1st, when Resident Services re-opens. Don’t worry about missing out on redeeming your Nook Miles points at the Nook Stop terminal. You can collect your points on January 1st.

Don’t forget to purchase any exclusive New Year’s content from Nook Shopping while it lasts. These special seasonal items will be available from January 1st until the 5th.


On January 1st, you’ll get to witness a rare natural event in New Horizons. On this day only, you will actually get to physically see the sun as it rises and sets! For the rest of the year, the sun shines off-screen, so this is an amazing rare event you cannot miss.


First up in January is the Fishing Tournament. This takes place on the second Saturday of January. This event happens in both hemispheres, so get your fishing rods ready!

There’s also the Bug Off, which in January will occur on the third Saturday. Unlike the Fishing Tournament, the Bug Off in January will only take place for those in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Fishing Tournament will take place in both hemispheres, but not the Bug Off.

The Fishing Tournament will take place in both hemispheres, but not the Bug Off.


Just to make sure you don’t miss anything and want to mark it on your calendar, here’s a reminder of the events taking place in January:


  • New Year’s Day – countdown starts on December 31st. Fireworks display starts at midnight and ends at 2am.
  • See the sun rise and set – a rare one-off occurrence on this day.

Until the 5th:

  • New Year’s exclusive items available to purchase from Nook Shopping.
Don't forget to grab any seasonal items from Nook Shopping while you can.

Don’t forget to grab any seasonal items from Nook Shopping while you can.

Until the 6th:

  • Festive Series items still available to craft.

2nd Saturday: 

  • Fishing Tournament – starts from 9am and ends at 6pm. Available for both hemispheres.

3rd Saturday:

  • Bug Off – starts from 9am and ends at 6pm. Only available for Southern Hemisphere.

Towards the end of January:

  • Groundhog Day – this event runs into early February and is available in both hemispheres.
  • Japanese Setsubun Event – only available for a few days, get your hands on some exclusive items related to this event.
  • Lunar New Year – at the end of the month, celebrate the New Year, Chinese and Korean style, with some exclusive content.


  • For Southern Hemisphere players, this is the last day to collect Summer Shells for the Summer Shell recipes.
Best Animal Crossing New Horizons Summer Shell ACNH

(Video by Leiel)


January is a month full of birthdays, some of these celebrating the birthdays of special NPCs. Make a note of these villagers and their birthdays, so you can get ready to party with them and get a gift together.

Date Villager/Character
1st Bob
2nd Dr. Shrunk, Poncho
3rd Joey
4th Diana
5th Roald
6th Carmen
7th Harry
8th Joan, Pierce
9th Tiffany
10th Papi
11th Maddie
12th Moe
13th Puddle
14th Velma
15th Glady
16th Ursula
17th Rizzo
18th Chelsea, Shurb
19th Simon
20th Opal, Quinn
21st Genji
22nd Francine
23rd Gwen
24th Rhonda
25th Savannah
26th Cyrus, Vivian
27th Admiral, Aurora
28th Margie
29th Cube
30th Flurry
31st Harriet, Winnie
Papi's Birthday!: Animal Crossing

(Video by Animal Crossing Moments)


This is one of the big things that Animal Crossing players seek, in the ultimate goal of finding every last fish, bug, and sea creature. They also want to know when certain fish/bugs/sea creatures come out, where they can find them, and their value.

The good news is that there is already a dedicated guide to fish, bugs, and sea creatures in the month of January in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. If you want to find out all the details on fish, bugs, and sea creatures for this month, you should check it out.

There's plenty of fish, bugs, and sea creatures to catch in January.

There’s plenty of fish, bugs, and sea creatures to catch in January.

Let’s quickly summarize what you can expect for fish, bugs, and sea creatures in January in New Horizons. What’s available depends on which hemisphere you’re playing in.

For fish, there’s nothing new to report in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, there’s some new fish to keep an eye out for. It’s also your last chance to catch a tadpole, which can only be found in ponds. It won’t come back until September, which is a long time, so if you haven’t nabbed it yet, now’s the time.

If you haven't yet, there's still time to catch a tadpole if you're in the Southern Hemisphere.

If you haven’t yet, there’s still time to catch a tadpole if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere.

For bugs, again there’s no change in the Northern Hemisphere for the selection of bugs available to catch. In the Southern Hemisphere, on the other hand, there’s a wide variety of new bugs available. These include cicadas, beetles, and stags. You can generally find cicadas during the day (except the Evening Cicada), beetles all day (except the Scarab Beetle), and stags at night. Many of these will stick around until the end of February, so catch them while you can! January is also your last chance to get the honeybee until it reappears in September.

There are new sea creatures available in January for both hemispheres. The abalone disappears at the end of the month in the Northern Hemisphere, so grab it while you can, as it won’t come back until June. In the Southern Hemisphere, there are a couple of new sea creatures to find. After January, you won’t be able to get seaweed until April comes around.

For Southern Hemisphere dwellers, seaweed will disappear at the end of the month.

For Southern Hemisphere dwellers, seaweed will disappear at the end of the month.

That sums up the month of January in Animal Crossing: New Horizons! Don’t forget to stop by to celebrate the New Year’s Countdown, and don’t miss the rare sight of the sun on-screen as it rises and sets on January 1st. Don’t forget to grab those exclusive New Year’s content while you can either.

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