The shortest month of the year, February can be challenging. While some people look forward to celebrating Valentine’s Day (February 14th) and participating in winter sports, others may be struggling with the blues, especially in this time of COVID-19.
Let’s hope that our respective groundhogs (in Canada and the United States) will predict an early spring on February 2nd.
Here are 10 interesting facts about February…
1. February was added to the Roman calendar in 713 BC. The length of the month changed over time and, at one time, it had as few as 23 days. When Julius Caesar remade the Roman calendar, the month was assigned 28 days during normal years and 29 days during leap years. The next leap year will be 2020.
2. The month is named for the Latin word februum which means purification.
3. February is one of the most frequently misspelled words in the English language. In 2015, even the White House press office got it wrong—several times over the course of the month.
4. For more than 40 years, February has been Black History Month. The precursor to Black History Month, however, is a lot older. Black leaders in 1926 dedicated the second week in February to the recognizing the history of African-Americans—a week chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12) and Frederick Douglass (Feb. 14).
5. February has also been designated as American Heart Month, Chocolate Lover’s Month, National Bird Feeding Month, and National Dental Month.
6. The symbols of February include the amethyst (birthstone) and primrose (flower).
7. People born between February 1st and February 18th were born under the star sign of Aquarius while those born later in the month are under Pisces. Aquarians are considered to be original and progressive thinkers with strong humanitarian instincts, while Pisces are often very compassionate and artistic.
8. February’s full moon is commonly known as the Full Snow Moon in Native American cultures. The ancient tribes named this moon after the way trees cracked in the cold, or how people had to sit shoulder to shoulder around the fire for warmth. The Full Snow Moon is also known by more sinister names, such as the Bone Moon. In 2021, the full moon occurs on February 27th.
9. The following historical figures were born in February: Rosa Parks, February 4, 1913; Laura Ingalls Wilder, February 7, 1867; Thomas Edison, February 11, 1846; Charles Darwin, February 12, 1809; Galileo Galileli, February 15, 1564; George Washington, February 22, 1732.
10. This quotation, from Much Ado About Nothing, is the only time February is mentioned in a Shakespearean play: “You have such a February face, So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness.”