As I mentioned last week, February is my twelfth favorite month. Its reputation is not great. One thing it does have going for it, though, is its length. And as The Number 28’s biggest fan, I can’t help but appreciate February’s nice, even number of days. It would be almost criminal NOT to celebrate that particular attribute with a 28-Things post dedicated to this unusual month. So, in honor of this month that could use a little more attention, here are 28 facts about February.

1) February can be correctly pronounced EITHER with or without that first r sound (FEB-yoo-err-ee or FEB-roo-err-ee).

2) Its name is derived from the Latin term februum, which means “purification”, in recognition of the purification ritual Februa held on February 15 in the old lunar Roman calendar.

3) January and February were the last two months added to the Roman calendar (in 713 BC); previously, winter was considered a monthless period.

4) February remained the last month of the calendar year until 450 BC, when it became the second month.

5) The length of February was finalized when Julius Caesar remade the Roman calendar and assigned the month 28 days and 29 days.

6) Prior to the formalization of February’s length, it was truncated to 23 or 24 days, and a 27-day intercalary month was occasionally inserted immediately after February to realign the year with the seasons.

7) February is the only month that can pass without a single full moon. (This last happened in 2014 and won’t happen again until 2033.)

8) A full moon in February is called a Snow Moon.

9) The Saxons called February Sol-monath which means “cake month,” because they would offer cakes to the gods during February.

10) In Finnish, the month is called helmikuu, meaning “month of the pearl” because snow that has melted and refrozen in droplets looks like pearls of ice.

11) In Welsh, February is sometimes known as y mis bach which means “little month.”

12) The odds of being born on February 29th are about 1 in 1,461. According to U.S. Census Bureau, about 205,000 people in the U.S. have a February 29 birthday.

13) People born on February 29th are called “leapers” or “leaplings.” (I was two days shy of being one!)

14) Famous leaplings include Pope Paul III, Tony Robbins, Dinah Shore, and Mark Foster.

15) February, March, and November always start on the same day of the week (unless it is a leap year). 

16) February’s birth flower is the violet, which is thought to symbolize modesty, faithfulness, everlasting love, innocence, remembrance.

17) February’s secondary birth flower is the primrose, which was given in the Victorian era to represent young love.

18) February’s birth stone is amethyst, which symbolizes piety, humility, spiritual wisdom, and sincerity.

19) February has been Black History Month since 1970.

20) In 1994, February was named National Bird-Feeding month in the U.S.

21) The first Saturday in February is Ice Cream for Breakfast Day (invented in the 1960s by a New York mother of six). I’m sorry I didn’t inform you of this sooner. Maybe have a make-up this coming Saturday?

22) February 29 is National Frog Legs Day.

23) February is National Chocolate Lovers Month, National Cherries Month, National Grapefruit Month, and National Potato Lovers Month.

24) This year, Mardi Gras (also known as Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday) falls on February 21 (it changes yearly and can fall between February 3 and March 9).

25) On average, February is the snowiest month in the United States.

26) According to folklore, fogs in February mean frosts in May.

27) Four US Presidents had February birthdays:  George Washington (February 22, 1732), William Henry Harrison (February 9, 1773), Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809), and Ronald Reagan (February 6, 1911).

28) February is the only month that has four, full seven-day weeks. When this is from Monday to Monday for four weeks, it’s thought to be a ‘perfect month’.

I’m eager to hear from you: what is your least favorite month? What fun facts about that month might move it higher in the rankings for you?

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