2014-02-20 / Lifestyles

Little known facts about February

February is the shortest month of the year, but many people have no idea why that is. February is the only month to have fewer than 30 days, but there is no scientific reason behind that distinction, though there have been various changes to the calendar throughout the centuries, and eventually February became what it is today.

Julius Caesar was responsible for tackling calendar problems when he was in power. He wished to make the calendar solar-based, like the one Egyptians used, instead of the older lunar-based calendar. This led to the creation of the Julian calendar. Ten days were added to the calendar year in various months, and February was increased every four years (leap year) to 29 days to coordinate the calendar year to the solar cycle of roughly 365.2425 days.

February remains the shortest month of the year. Through the years there has been no widespread attempt to reorganize the calendar once more to even out the months and give extra time to February. As a result of the shorter number of days, February has some unique attributes. In common years, February can pass without a single full moon. The next time this will happen is in 2018. Once every six years, February is the only month that has four, full seven-day weeks.

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 on leap years. February ends on the same day of the week as October every year. In leap years, it is the only month that begins and ends on the same weekday.

People born on a leap year technically celebrate their birthday only once every four years, but most observe it on the 28th. Celebrities born on February 29 include Tony Robbins, Antonio Sabato, Jr., Mervyn Warren, and Dennis Farina.

Despite its status as the shortest month, February is packed with many events, including Valentine’s Day and Groundhog’s Day. Americans celebrate the birth of two presidents in February, as well as Black History Month. Mexicans celebrate Flag Day in February, while residents of St. Lucia celebrate their Independence Day. February is also a time for families, especially in Canada, where Family Day is celebrated on the third Monday of the month in many provinces.

February is also an important month for sports fans, as two teams will face each other in the Super Bowl on the first Sunday of February.

No one really knows for certain why February was relegated to the shortest month. However, with so much trivia and special events surrounding the month, it is still a special time of year.

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