Pity poor February, the least liked month of them all. As the third month of winter rolls around here in the Northern Hemisphere, most of us are ready to say goodbye to the cold and see the world come alive again (Unless of course, you live for winter sports!).
Despite its low favorability rating in the polls, February is a fascinating month. Here are 10 facts to help you appreciate the shortest month of the year.
- In the Southern Hemisphere, February is the third month of summer.
- February starts on the same day of the week as March and November in common years, and on the same day of the week as August in leap years.
- With only 28 days in common years, February is the only month that can pass without a full moon.
- Since the Romans originally considered winter a monthless period, January and February were the last months added to the Roman calendar.
- February is named after the Latin word februum, which means purification via the purification ritual Februa held on February 15.
- Other historical names for February include the Anglo-Saxon name solmonath, meaning mud month; and the Finnish helmikuu, meaning “month of the pearl”—referring to snowdrops on trees that melt and then refreeze.
- The status of February was in flux until the Gregorian calendar reforms created the concept of leap years and a 29-day February every four years.
- Most people pronounce the ‘ru’ in February as ‘ew’ rather than ‘roo.’
- February’s birthstone is the amethyst, a semi-precious stone that symbolizes spirituality and wisdom.
- February consistently has the least amount of babies being born (August has the highest number).
Enjoy the rest of your February!