By Alina Jawwad
February is the second month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. It is the shortest month and the only month with fewer than 30 days. The month has 28 days in common years or 29 days in leap years. February is the third month of meteorological winter in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, February is the third month of summer (the seasonal equivalent of August in the Northern Hemisphere, in meteorological reckoning). The Roman month Februarius was named after the Latin term februum, which means purification, via the purification ritual Februa held on February 15 (full moon) in the old lunar Roman calendar. January and February were the last two months to be added to the Roman calendar, since the Romans originally considered winter a month fewer periods. They were added by Numa Pompilius about 713 BC. February remained the last month of the calendar year until the time of the decemvirs (c. 450 BC), when it became the second month. At certain intervals February was truncated to 23 or 24 days, and a 27-day intercalary month, Intercalaris, was inserted immediately after February to realign the year with the seasons.
Symbols Of February
- Its birth flower is the violet (Viola) and the common primrose (Primula vulgaris).
- Its birthstone is the amethyst. It symbolizes piety, humility, spiritual wisdom, and sincerity.
- Its Zodiac signs are Aquarius (until February 18) and Pisces (February 19 onwards)
- Middle English Februarius
- Latin Februarius “of Februa”
- Roman: Februarius
- Saxon: Sol-monath
- Germanic: Hornung
- Colour: Purple
February In Other Languages
More About February
- Valentine’s Day, February 14
- Leap Day: February 29 (Every four years, with some exceptions)
- The largest American sporting event of the year, the Super Bowl, is held in February.
- Black History Month (United States and Canada)
- The name of February came from the Latin februa, a means of cleansing, which referred to the pre-spring purification rituals.
- There was a Roman god of purification called Februus, who was also the Etruscan god of the underworld.
- Independence of Sri Lanka: February 4
- The original ancient Roman calendar began in March and ended in December. January and February were not given names around 700BC.
- National Foundation Day in Japan: February 11
- The Welsh call February “y mis bach” which means “little month”.
- The Saxon term for the month, Sol-monath, means “cake month”. This is because they offered cakes to the gods during this month.
- Flag Day of Canada: February 15
- On February 6, 1899. The U.S. Senate ratified the peace treaty that led to the end of the Spanish-American War.
- Independence Day in Saint Lucia: February 22
- In the Southern Hemisphere February is a summer month the equivalent of August.
- Even when Caesar introduced leap years, the last day of February was the 28th. The extra day was achieved by counting February 24 twice.
- People Power Revolution in Philippines: February 25
- February 22 – George Washington’s Birthday
- Liberation Day in Kuwait, February 26
- February registers 423 million hits on Google. The misspelt Febuary registers 310 million.
- National Wear Red Day in the US and the UK
- Arfa Abdul Karim Randhawa birthday, 2 February 1995