February Calendar 2024: Holidays and Fun Facts | The Old Farmer's Almanac

February Calendar 2024: Holidays, Fun Facts, and Folklore

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How Many Days Are in February?

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Welcome February, the second month on the calendar, but originally the last! How many days are in February (hint: it’s a Leap Year)? Can you name 10 holidays and events? Enjoy these fun facts.

The Month of February

February comes from the Latin word februa, which means “to cleanse.” 

It was named after Februalia, the Roman festival of purification, which was a month-long festival of purification and atonement that took place this time of year. See all the month names.

While February is the second month in our Gregorian calendar today, it was originally the very last month added to the Roman calendar (c. 713 BC)! 

Originally, the calendar was 10 months because winter was considered a dormant, month-less period. January and February were added by the Roman king Numa Pompilius to better align the calendar with the lunar year.

Eventually (c. 450 BC), February was moved to its place as the second month.

How Many Days Are in February?

It depends! February is the only month to have a length of fewer than 30 days! It’s usually 28 days, though February is 29 days long in leap years such as 2024. 

But why 28 days? The Roman King Numa had originally made all months 29 days, as Romans believed that even numbers were unlucky. However, the sum of all the months was an even number. So February, a month for honoring the dead, was chosen as the unlucky month to consist of 28 days.

Of course, the calendar went through many more changes, but the “28” days for February have stuck.

February Calendar

  • February 2 is Groundhog Day—the day we find out whether winter will last six more weeks or call it quits early. How did this quirky tradition get started? Find out the meaning of Groundhog Day.
  • February 10 is the Lunar New Year. Celebrated widely throughout East Asia, this holiday begins with the first new Moon after the Winter Solstice and is associated with the Chinese Zodiac.
  • February 11 is the Super Bowl in 2024. See some tasty Super Bowl recipes!
  • February 12 is Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday. The 16th president of the United States was born in a one-room, 16x18-foot log cabin with a dirt floor.
  • February 13 is Mardi Gras (aka “Fat Tuesday” or Shrove Tuesday), which is the final feasting day before the Christian tradition of Lent begins on the following day, Ash Wednesday.
  • February 14 is Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of Lent.
  • February 14 is always Valentine’s Day. Heads up, lovebirds! Today, the holiday is celebrated with love, flowers, and chocolate, but how did this holiday get its start? Learn all about Valentine’s Day.
  • February 15 is Susan B. Anthony’s Birthday. How much do you know about this women’s rights leader?
  • February 15 is also National Flag of Canada Day!
  • February 19 brings Presidents’ Day, a federal holiday also known as Washington’s Birthday that is celebrated on the third Monday in February. (George Washington’s actual birthday is February 22!)
  • February 29 is Leap Day! Happening once every four years, we are given an extra day in February. Some think this day brings good luck. Learn more about leap years.

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 about African-American History Month here.

George Washington celebrates his birthday this month. He was born on February 22, 1732.

February Weather

On average, February is the United States snowiest month, according to data from the National Weather Service.

What weather’s in store in your region? See your long-range weather forecasts for the month of February!

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)


February Astronomy

The Full Snow Moon

February’s full Moon reaches peak illumination on Saturday, February 24, 2024. Look skyward on that night to catch the best view of this full Moon!

It’s known as the Snow Moon due to the typically heavy snowfall that occurs in February. Other traditional Native American names for this Moon include the Eagle Moon (Cree), Raccoon Moon (Dakota), and Hungry Moon (Cherokee). Read more about the February Snow Moon here!

Credit: Dima Chechin GettyImages

February Recipes

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. See Valentine’s Day recipes.

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

Everyday Advice

In honor of Valentine’s Day, check out these pages on tips and advice in the love department:



Have you started planning your garden? This is the time!  We’ll give you advice on how to space your plans and more. Our online Garden Planner is free for one week. Have fun, play around, and plan a garden!


A few gardening tips:

  • 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 to set 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.

See a list of gardening tips for February by region!



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.


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.

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 a 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 the page!


Folklore for the Season

Married 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 quiz:
George Washington:  D. February 4, 1789. Congress certified the vote on April 6. Washington took the oath of office on April 30,
Valentine’s Day: 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.

About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann

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