February is the second month of the Gregorian calendar and is the year’s shortest month.
A common year has 28 days and a leap year has 29 days. Because it was originally a period for cleansing rituals, the month is named from the Latin word “februum,” which meaning purification.
February has several notable holidays and events, including:
- Valentine’s Day
- National Black History Month
- International Day of Women and Girls in Science
The month is also linked to the zodiac signs Aquarius and Pisces, as well as the birthstone amethyst. In different places of the world, February might signal the height of summer or the depths of winter.
1. February is the year’s shortest month
February is the year’s shortest month, with 28 days in a normal year and 29 days in a leap year.
A leap year happens every four years, unless the year is divisible by 100 but not by 400, in which case it is omitted.
Also Read: Facts About March
This is done to maintain the calendar year in sync with the solar year, which lasts about 365.24 days.
The extra day added in a leap year is added towards the end of February, making the month 29 days long instead of 28.
2. February gets its name from the Latin word “februum”
The month of February gets its name from the Latin word “februum,” which implies purification.
February was involved with many purifying ceremonies, including the Februa festival, which was conducted on February 15th, according to the ancient Romans.
Participants in this celebration would make offerings and sacrifices to purify themselves and their environment. In Old English, February was also known as “Solmonath,” which means “mud month,” reflecting the muddy weather in many parts of Europe at this time of year.
3. Amethyst is the birthstone for February
Amethyst, a violet-colored quartz, is the birthstone for February. It is typically associated with spiritual consciousness, inner serenity, and clarity of intellect.
The gemstone is thought to have numerous medicinal powers, including the capacity to repel bad energy, calm the mind and emotions, and enhance physical and emotional well-being.
Amethyst was once considered a regal symbol and was frequently used in crowns and other royal jewelry.
Amethyst is now a popular gemstone for both jewelry and decoration, and it is frequently presented as a gift to persons born in February or to commemorate the sixth and seventeenth wedding anniversaries.
4. National Black History Month is held in February
National Black History Month is held in the United States each year in February.
In 1926, historian Carter G. Woodson developed “Negro History Week” to recognize the efforts and achievements of Black Americans, particularly those who were not featured in the mainstream historical narrative.
President Gerald Ford expanded the week-long event into a month-long observance in 1976 to acknowledge the important contributions made by Black Americans throughout the country’s history.
This month, events and activities are held to recognize and honor African Americans’ contributions to American history, culture, and society.
5. Aquarius and Pisces are the zodiac signs for February
Aquarius and Pisces are the zodiac signs for February. Individuals born between January 20th and February 18th are born under the Water Bearer sign, which is connected with independence, inventiveness, and humanitarianism.
Individuals born between February 19th and March 20th are born under the Pisces sign, which is symbolized by the Fish and is connected with sensitivity, intuition, and creativity.
The zodiac signs are one way of categorizing these influences in astrology, which holds that the alignment of the stars and planets at the moment of a person’s birth can influence their personality and future.
6. Groundhog Day is on February 2nd
Groundhog Day is a popular celebration observed on February 2nd in the United States and Canada, mainly in the countries’ eastern and central areas.
It is thought that if a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather.
If the groundhog does not see its shadow, it is assumed that winter will end soon. The most renowned Groundhog Day celebration takes place in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and is hosted by a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil.
People flock to watch Phil emerge from his burrow, and his behavior is thought to predict the weather. While the scientific validity of the Groundhog Day custom is contested, it remains a popular cultural event in the United States and Canada.
7. Valentine’s Day is on February 14th
Valentine’s Day is a holiday observed on February 14th in several countries worldwide. Saint Valentine, a Christian martyr who lived in the third century, is remembered on this day.
It is a day when individuals express their love and affection for one another via the exchange of cards, presents, and love notes. Hearts, flowers, and Cupid, a character from Roman mythology who is commonly represented as a winged baby with a bow and arrow, are the most common Valentine’s Day symbols.
Valentine’s Day is generally celebrated by romantic couples, but it is also a day when people express their love and appreciation for their friends and family members.
While the holiday’s beginnings are founded in Christian tradition, Valentine’s Day has evolved into a secular event celebrated by people of many other cultures and beliefs.
8. February is the hottest month of the year in the Southern Hemisphere
February is the hottest month of the year in the Southern Hemisphere, and it is considered the height of summer. This is due to the fact that the Southern Hemisphere has its summer season from December to February, whilst the Northern Hemisphere has winter during this time.
Southern Hemisphere countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa have their school summer vacations during this time, and many people take advantage of the pleasant weather by going to the beach, having outdoor barbecues, and participating in other summertime activities.
Conversely, in other parts of the Southern Hemisphere, such as Southeast Asia, Northern Australia, and the Pacific Islands, February can also be a time of high rainfall and tropical cyclones.
9. The Super Bowl is usually held on the first Sunday of February.
The Super Bowl is one of the most important sporting events in the United States, and it is usually held on the first Sunday of February.
The Super Bowl is the National Football League’s (NFL) championship game, and it marks the end of a season that began in September of the previous year.
The Super Bowl has become a big cultural event, with many individuals holding Super Bowl parties and activities to watch the game with friends and family.
The halftime show, which features prominent musical acts, has also become an important element of the Super Bowl experience.
The Super Bowl is one of the most-watched television events in the United States, and it is famous for its high-profile ads, which are frequently expensive and innovative productions aimed to be memorable and entertaining.
10. February is a significant month for U.S. statehood
February is a significant month for U.S. statehood, as several states were admitted to the Union during this month, including:
- Massachusetts: Became the 6th state on February 6, 1788.
- Maine: Became the 23rd state on February 15, 1820.
- Oregon: Became the 33rd state on February 14, 1859.
- Arizona: Became the 48th state on February 14, 1912.
- Oklahoma: Became the 46th state on November 16, 1907, but was officially admitted to the Union on November 16, which is sometimes considered the “Oklahoma Day.”
In addition to these, Mississippi was readmitted to the Union on February 23, 1870, after having seceded from the United States during the Civil War. Therefore, February has played an important role in the history of U.S. statehood.