Monday, February 1, 2010

Fun February Facts

Gosh, it's hard to believe that the first full month of 2010 is over already and that February has arrived! I thought I would share some fun facts and trivia about the second month of the Gregorian calendar with you today as a way to welcome the new month.

February was named for the Roman god Februus, god of purification, and in honor of the Roman purification rite of Februa which occurred on February 15th in the Roman calendar.

To pronounce the first "r" or not - that is the question... the general consensus is that it really is a matter of preference. Having the two "r"s so close together does make it somewhat more difficult to pronounce them both, so either pronunciation is acceptable!

February is the only month of the year which is limited to 28 days, and in any year that is not a leap year, it begins on the same day of the weeks as both March and November. Why only 28 days? There is an ancient legend that Augustus Caesar took a day from February and added it to August (the month named after him) in order to make it as long as the month named after Julius Caesar (July) and that is how February ended up with 28 days. Sounds logical to me!

Every four years during leap years, February has 29 days. The need for a leap day is to keep the common calendar lined up with the astronomical year (which is longer by a quarter of a day!)

Is your birthday on February 29th? Then you're known as a leapling!

February's traditional birthstone is the amethyst - a clear purple or bluish-violet form of crystallized quartz that is considered a semiprecious stone. Non-traditional birthstones are onyx, bloodstone, and moonstone.

The primrose and the violet are February's birth flowers.

Well known holidays in February are: Groundhog's Day (2nd), Valentines Day (14th), and Presidents's Day (the 3rd Monday of the month). By the way, did you know that not that very long ago, we celebrated two presidents birthdays in February? Lincoln's Birthday (12th) and Washington's birthday (22nd) were celebrated separately until 1971 when the third Monday of February was finally named as Presidents Day - to honor ALL presidents. Strangely enough, the legal description still referred to the day as Washington's birthday, so legally, Presidents Day is a misnomer.

Do you share a February birthday with any of these famous February born people?

February arrives in the sign of Aquarius, giving way to the sign of Pisces on February 19th.

Month-long celebrations for February include American Heart Month, National Black History Month, Library Lovers Month, National Senior Independence Month, Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month, Chocolate Lover's Month and National Hobby Month - among so many others!

The Native American name for the full Moon this month is the Snow Moon.

February's trees are the Poplar, Cedar and Pine. Pine tree symbolism includes creativity, life, longevity and immortality.

According to the Chinese agricultural calendar, February is the month of the Tiger (except for the first four days which belong to the Ox!)

While I'm sure there are many more cultural and folklore-ish associations with the month of February, my brain is on overload, so I'll stop here!

I'd like to say thank you to the following shops for the display of their items to illustrate my post. Please be sure to visit them all, as well as the other great Etsy shops that are featuring February related items!

Simply Sweet Original - Miss February Bloomers/Diaper Cover - SimplySweetShoppe
Purple Passion Amethyst and Sterling Earrings - Mysticwynd
Aquarius - Zodiac Charm Pendant Necklace with Amethyst - Turquoising
Pisces - Zodiac Charm Pendant Necklace with Aquamarine - Turquoising


Andrea said...

That's hilarious about Augustus Caesar! I can believe that. This is a fun post, and I love the beautiful amethyst items you've included here.

Rose Works Jewelry said...

Lots of fun info - thank you for sharing!

Anitra Cameron said...

What an interesting entry! All sorts of stuff I didn't know, and that's always sure to bring me a smile. Learning is GOOD.

Baroness Bijoutery said...

A very interesting and informative post...I always like little unknown facts about things...Thanks for sharing this ...

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