2/2/2024 7:00:00 AM
February joined the calendar with January around 700 B.C. During the ancient Roman festival Lupercalia, celebrants used thongs made from goatskin in purification rituals, which took place during the month, earning it the name februarius.
February wasn’t always second. When Numa Pompilius first added February to the calendar in 700 BC, he placed it at the end of the calendar. That’s right, February was the last month on the calendar. The adjustment aligned the calendar with the lunar cycle. However, Roman superstition avoided even numbers so the calendar resulted in every month having 29 days except one – February. Numa Pomplius placed this unlucky short month at the end of the year. And there, February remained for nearly 200 years when January and February moved to the beginning of the year.
Julius Caesar attempted to align the calendar with the solar season creating the Julian calendar. Under the current Gregorian calendar, the leap year functions differently. Leap years are divisible by four, with one exception. Centennial years must be divisible by 400.
Weather & Seasons
February is the third month of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the snowiest month of the year. The Southern Hemisphere is wrapping up the last summer month. It should be no surprise that the full moon in February is named the Snow Moon. Keep in mind, though, that since February is a short month, it sometimes doesn’t even have a full moon.
What’s Your Sign?
Interestingly, one of the earliest flowers to bloom in February is the primrose which even blooms through the snow. It is also February’s birth flower.
If you are born in February, you are either an Aquarius or a Pisces. Both are water signs, Aquarius represented by the water bearer and Pisces represented by a pair of fish. Your birthstone is the pretty purple quartz called amethyst.
Five Fast Facts
1. Those born in February share their birthdays with the following:
Langston Hughes, James Joyce, Ayn Rand, Elizabeth Blackwell, Norman Rockwell, James Michener, Nathan Lane, Chris Rock, Michael C. Hall, Tomas Edison, Nina Simone, Rosa Parks, Gertrude Stein, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Alice Cooper, Garth Brooks, Ashton Kutcher, Mary Steenburgen, Jennifer Aniston, Ice-T, John Travolta, Smokey Robinson, Sidney Poitier, and Drew Barrymore
2. The Anglo-Saxons called February Sol-monath, meaning “cake month.” Though they offered cake to the gods in February, we suggest having cake with some friends. And of course, there is a cake holiday to celebrate in February, too!
3. There is a 1 in 1,461 chance of a leap day birthday.
4. February is derived from the Latin februo which means purity or to cleanse.
5. Because February usually has 28 days, once every 6 years, it’s the only month to have 4 full 7 day weeks. In the years that aren’t leap years (otherwise known as common years), February and March start on the same day of the week.
2024 is a leap year, so February will have 29 days. If you are celebrating a birthday on the 29th, please let us know at Elements@nfta.com. We will celebrate you on Elements.