The Roman month Februarius was named after the Latin term februum, which means purification, via the purification ritual Februa held on February 15 (full moon) in the old lunar Roman calendar. January and February were the last two months to be added to the Roman calendar since the Romans originally considered winter a monthless period. They were added by Numa Pompilius about 713 BC. February remained the last month of the calendar year until the time of the decemvirs (c. 450 BC) when it became the second month. At certain times February was truncated to 23 or 24 days, and a 27-day intercalary month, Intercalaris, was occasionally inserted immediately after February to realign the year with the seasons.
February is American Heart Month.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.
How can American Heart Month make a difference?
We can use this month to raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it — both at home and in the community.
Here are just a few ideas:
- Encourage families to make small changes, like using spices to season their food instead of salt.2.
- Motivate teachers and administrators to make physical activity a part of the school day. This can help students start good habits early.
- Ask doctors and nurses to be leaders in their communities by speaking out about ways to prevent heart disease.
February is also African-American History Month.
As a Harvard-trained historian, Carter G. Woodson, like W. E. B. Du Bois before him believed that truth could not be denied and that reason would prevail over prejudice. His hopes to raise awareness of African American’s contributions to civilization was realized when he and the organization he founded, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The response was overwhelming: Black history clubs sprang up; teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils; and progressive whites, not simply white scholars and philanthropists, stepped forward to endorse the effort.
By the time of Woodson’s death in 1950, Negro History Week had become a central part of African American life and substantial progress had been made in bringing more Americans to appreciate the celebration. At mid-century, mayors of cities nationwide issued proclamations noting Negro History Week. The Black Awakening of the 1960s dramatically expanded the consciousness of African Americans about the importance of black history, and the Civil Rights movement focused Americans of all color on the subject of the contributions of African Americans to our history and culture.
The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976, the nation’s bicentennial. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
Ground Hog Day is celebrated on February 2. It is also called Candlemas or Imbolc.
Ground Hogs are also known as whistle pigs or woodchucks.
February 12 is Abraham Lincoln’s 211th birthday. Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States and president during the American Civil War. He was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865, dying the following day on April 15.
Valentine’s Day is February 14. It began as a bloody pagan festival.
During the festival of Lupercalia, Roman priests would sacrifice goats and dogs and use their blood-soaked hides to slap women on the streets, as a fertility blessing. According to legend, women would later put their names in an urn and be selected to be paired with a man for a year.
For more Valentine’s Day Facts, click here
Although Washington’s birthday is actually February 22, we celebrate President’s Day on the third Monday in February. In 2020 that is February 17. The history of President’s Day 2020 dates back to the year 1800, following the death of President George Washington in 1799. His birthday on February 22 became a significant day of remembrance. At the time, Washington was recognized as the most important figure in American history.
February 18 is National Drink Wine Day.
The purpose of National Drink Wine Day is to spread the love and health benefits of wine. Wine has played an important role in history, religion and relationships. We embrace the positive benefits of wine such as new friends, reduced risk of heart disease and the enhancement of food and life.
Now that I can drink to! What type of wine do you like best?
February 29 is Leap Day. It occurs once every four years. If it’s Leap Year, then Americans elect their president and the Summer Olympics are held. It is also known as St Oswald’s Day, named after the archbishop of York who died on February 29, 992. His memorial is celebrated on February 29 during leap years and on February 28 during common years.
Leap Day, on February 29, has been a day of traditions, folklore and superstitions ever since Leap Years were first introduced by Julius Caesar over 2000 years ago.