Month of February 2019: Holidays, Fun Facts, Folklore

What do we celebrate in February?

February 25, 2019
Facts About February

What do we celebrate in February? What is February famous for? This is a short month, so let’s celebrate all February has to offer! Here’s the short list of holiday happenings. 

Here delicate snow-stars, out of the cloud,
Come floating downward in airy play,

Like spangles dropped from the glistening crowd

That whiten by night 

the milky way.

–“The Snow-Shower,” by William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878)

Calendar

February comes from the Latin word februa, which means “to cleanse.” The month was named after the Roman Februalia, which was a month-long festival of purification and atonement. See all the month names.

Did you know:

  • February is the only month to have a length of fewer than 30 days!  Though it’s usually 28 days, February is 29 days long in leap years.
  • January and February were the last two months to be added to the Roman calendar (c. 713 BC); originally, winter was considered a month-less period. 
  • Originally, February was made the last month of the calendar year!  Eventually (c. 450 BC), February was moved to its place as the second month.

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Holiday Happenings

This short month is packed with holidays and history.

February is African-American History Month. The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.
Learn more here.

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Wacky Times

Feb. 3: Carrot Cake Day
Feb. 5: Weatherperson’s Day
Feb: 9: Read in the Bathtub Day
Feb. 27: International Polar Bear Day

February Quiz

On February 4 of which year did the Electoral College unanimously elect George Washington as the first U.S. president?

a. 1777
b. 1779

c. 1782

d. 1789

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, which English poet wrote the sonnet that includes the famous line, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways”?

1. Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–61)
2. Lord George Gordon Byron (1788–1824)
3. William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

Answers at bottom of page!

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Full Moon for February

New Moon: 

February 4, at 4:04 P.M. EST

First Quarter: 

February 12, at 5:26 P.M. EST

Full Cold Moon: 

February 19, at 10:54 A.M. EST

Last Quarter: 

February 26, at 6:28 A.M. EST

See the Moon Guide for February.

Recipes for the Season

Ready for football food?  See our Super Bowl Dip Recipes —including spinach dip, guacamole, hummus, nacho layer dip, salsa and more!

For Valentine’s Day, we’ve gathered our favorite sweets and treats and romantic dinner ideas, too. See Valentine’s Day recipes.

If you a chocolate lover, Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without a dip into decadence. See our best chocolate dessert recipes.

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Gardening

This is month to plan your garden!  We’ll give you advice on how to space your plans and more! Try our Almanac Garden Planner for your best harvest yet. We’re offering a free 7-day trial.

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Shop early for seeds from catalogs and garden stores. The early shopper gets the best choice of seed varieties. See our list of Seed and Plant Mail-Order Sources and our tips on ordering seeds.

Start onions from seed now. They’ll be ready for setting out in April. Onions from seed are generally firmer and longer lasting than from sets.

Start parsley indoors now. You may think you have successfully wintered over the plant, but it is a biennial and will soon go to seed.

Everyday Advice

In honor of Valentine’s Day, check out these pages on tips and advice in the love department:
How to Find Your Perfect Mate
How to Get Lucky the Old-Fashioned Way
The Aphrodisiac That Really Works

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Best Days

Looking for the best days to quit smoking, prune trees, garden, wean babies, cut hair, lose weight, and more? See our Best Days by the Moon’s Sign.

February’s Zodiac Signs

Aquarius: January 20–February 19

Pisces: February 20–March 20

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February’s Birth Flower

Even though so many roses are sold during February due to Valentine’s Day, the Violet and the Primrose are the symbolic flowers.

  • The violet signifies watchfulness, loyalty, and faithfulness. Give a violet to someone to let them know that you’ll always be there for them.
  • The primrose lets someone know that you can’t live without them.

See all birth flowers for the month and their meanings.

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February’s Birthstone

Like the violet, February’s birthstone is a purple color.  It’s the beautiful amethyst.

  • This gem is a form of quartz; it can range from a pale lilac color to a deep, rich purple.
  • The name is based on a Greek myth that speaks of a nymph named Amethyst who was inadvertently turned into white stone; in remorse, the Greek god Bacchus poured wine over her to turn her a beautiful purple.
  • The amethyst was thought to prevent intoxication and keep its wearer thinking sharply. It was worn by English royalty in the Middle Ages.

See more about birthstones for February.

Folklore for the Season

candle_0_half_width.jpgMarried in February’s sleety weather,
Life you’ll tread in tune together.

 

If February give much snow,
A fine summer it doth foreshow.

Fogs in February mean frosts in May.

If Candlemas Day [February 2] be mild and gay
Go saddle your horses, and buy them hay
But if Candlemas Day be stormy and black,
It carries the winter away on its back.

It is better to see a troop of wolves than a fine February.

 

 

*Answer to questions at top of page
George Washington Quiz:  D. February 4, 1789. Congress certified the vote on April 6. Washington took the oath of office on April 30,
Valentine’s Day Quiz: 1. The poem, titled “How Do I Love Thee?,” is Sonnet 43 in Browning’s book Sonnets From the Portuguese, which was dedicated to her husband, poet Robert Browning.

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Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

Why did you short-change the Father of our Country?

Even if Washington was born in January, the traditional time to celebrate is in February -- and he certainly deserves a separate entry -- not tucked in under that meaningless three-day-weekend facilitator called, "Presidents' Day."

When is the best time to

When is the best time to prune back your rose bushes in Tatum TX?

The best time to prune roses

The Editors's picture

The best time to prune roses in East Texas depends on the type of rose. For Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, and Grandifloras, the best time is around Valentine's Day or early March.

On pruning do you cut back

On pruning do you cut back to ground

need to prune crape myrtles

need to prune crape myrtles and roses and some other when is a good time, i live in north alabama

Crapemyrtles only need

The Editors's picture

Crapemyrtles only need limited pruning and this is best done in late winter to promote lush new growth in the spring. In February, prune hybrid tea roses in South Alabama; delay pruning for a few weeks in North Alabama.

I plan to build a new house

I plan to build a new house this coming march,can you help me what is better date I start? Hoping for your help..more power in this site..thanks

If you're speaking about the

The Editors's picture

If you're speaking about the "Best Days by the Moon," see our timetable here: http://www.almanac.com/bestday... Look for best days to pour concrete or set posts.
Practically speaking, most builders prefer late summer to fall because it avoids rainy season and they prefer cool to heat. However, those dates may also be busy and more expensive. It depends on your market. Hope this helps.

Best days to prune fruit

Best days to prune fruit trees

The best days to prune fruit

The Editors's picture

The best days to prune fruit trees is when the leaves are off (and the tree is dormant). Summer pruning removes leaves (food manufacturer), slows fruit ripening, and
exposes fruit to sunburn.
For our Best Days to Prune, based on the Moon's sign, see our timetable here: http://www.almanac.com/bestday...

I would really like to get

I would really like to get into all about doing things with the sun & moon, but have no idea exactely where to begin, I love to read the almanac but dont quite understand how to use it.

the monthly best time for

the monthly best time for cutting hair for growth.

when are the best days to cut

when are the best days to cut your hair for growth in Nov 2013?

What sign for destroying

What sign for destroying weeds?