February

By | Feb 1, 2008

February is without a doubt an odd month. Everyone knows that it’s the shortest month of the year. It’s the only one that has less than 30 days and has 28 days except leap years when a day is added since each year is 365 and quarter day long. On those leap years The United States elect a President and 2008 is one.

January and February were the last two months to be added to the Roman Calendar. The Roman’s originally only had 10 months, they felt that the winter was monthless period. It’s traditionally thought that Numa Pompilius added them when he did a calendar reform around 700 BC.

Numa Pompilius is thought by some to be the second King of Rome following Romulus. Legend has it that he was born with the founding of Rome, 40 at the time he was selected to rule Rome and reigned for over 40 years. He altered the calendar to set aside days for religion and others for business.

February is named after the Latin term for purification, februum. February 15, in the old Roman Calender, is the date of Februa a purification ritual. The festival is basically one of washing, or one could say a Spring Cleaning.

For two year, 1930 and 1931, the Soviet Union tried to introduce a Calendar with each of the 12 months having 30 days with the remaining 5 or 6 days, depending on whether a leap day was needed, being monthless holidays. For these two years in the Soviet Union February had 30 days. In 1932 they returned to the rules of the Gregorian calendar.

For some of you, 2008 will be a treat. Those who were born on the 29th of February and honestly and truly celebrate on the day of their birth. So for those of you who were born 20 years ago on February 29, 1988, I will be wishing you a very happy 5th birthday.


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