February is a month crammed with plenty of surprises. It’s the shortest month of the year, but for many people in the northern hemisphere, it remains one of the coldest. It’s that bridge between winter and spring that many people are likely to look forward to melting away! However, poor February often gets a bad rap!
February is responsible for bringing us some of the most popular and most talented people in history. It’s also unique in the modern calendar, as no other month of the year has fewer than 30 days. It’s also host to one extra day every so often – making it a real oddity. If you were born in February, you may already know your star sign and birthstone – but in this file, we’ll take the time to run through all the interesting facts about February that it has to offer!
Interestingly, February remains the second month of the year in both Gregorian and Julian calendars. It’s also the only month to have fewer than 30 days.
It’s also the only month to be affected by the ‘leap year’ – which takes effect when there are 29 days in February, and 366 days total in the year.
Leap years help to synchronise calendars. They take into account Earth’s orbit of the sun as well as some of the intricacies of time dilation that would take another two or three fact files to explain!
February is a proper noun and its name in Latin means ‘purification’. Ancient Latin refers to the month as ‘Februum’.
The climate in February in the southern hemisphere is more or less the same as the climate you’ll experience in August in the northern hemisphere. It’s cold in the winter in the UK when it’s warm and sunny in Australia!
One of the main holidays celebrated in February is St Valentine’s Day, which takes place on the 14th.
Valentine’s Day has come to be a day when partners and married couples share gifts and cards with each other to show their love. You’ll often see plenty of read hearts and cuddly toys in February time.
There were two men called Valentine thought to have contributed to the name of the holiday. However, things didn’t end up well for them in either case!
One ‘Valentine’ was put to death by the Roman Emperor Claudius after he failed to renounce his faith.
The second, however, was also executed by the same Emperor – and it was thought he had been helping soldiers to marry. This was against the rules of Christianity through which the Roman Empire followed to the letter.
Anyone born on the 29th February will not have an ‘official’ birthday each year – meaning that many of them choose to move it to the 28th February or the 1st March instead!
The Welsh name for February is ‘y mis bach’. This roughly translates as ‘the little month’, and they’re not incorrect!
February was the last month to be added to the Roman calendar, following behind January. Traditionally, calendars used to run from March to December.
February, just like all other months in the calendar, has its own flowers. February flowers are primroses and violets.
February also has its own theme colours, which are often yellow and purple. However, pale blue sometimes represents February, too!
February’s birthstones may vary, but they are generally pearls and amethysts. That’s a lot of purple!
February births will either sire Aquarians or Pisceans, though you’re more likely to be an Aquarian due to the shortness of the month.
One of the most famous people to be born in February was inventor Thomas Edison, who was born on February 11th. He’s responsible for the phonograph and the lightbulb, as well as countless other creations!
Other famous February-born historical figures include Charles Darwin. Born on February 12th, he is considered the father of the theory of evolution.
Galileo Galilei, too, was born in February, on the 15th. The legendary astronomer helped to find multiple planets which we can easily see in the night sky today.
Famous musicians born in February include Nina Simone. Born on February 21st, she was one of the most iconic female stars of the 1950s and was a famous civil rights activist.
Alice Cooper – shock rocker extraordinaire famous for the hits ‘School’s Out’ and ‘Poison’ – was born on February 4th. He’s referred to as the Godfather of Shock.
Singer-songwriter Rick Astley was born on February 6th. He’s best known these days for ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, which has become part of a long-running internet meme long after its initial popularity.
The Canadian Mounted Police first formed on February 1st, 1920.
February is also the birth month of the vinyl record, at least at its 45RPM standard. This speed of play normally applies to single releases.
February is the birth month of Facebook. It was set up by Mark Zuckerberg on February 4th, 2004.
Barbie – perhaps one of the most famous toys on the planet – was ‘born’ in February. On February 4th, 1959, the iconic doll was first revealed to the world, thanks to creator Ruth Handler.
The Readers’ Digest celebrates its birthday in February, on the 5th. It’s coming up towards its 100th
The Boy Scout movement first emerged in the US in February, in 1910.
On February 8th, 1952, Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne – and she’s reigned there ever since!
Disney first released their ground-breaking animated movie debut, ‘Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs’, in February 1938.
For many movie studios and distributers, February can be seen as a ‘down period’ for releases. Fewer people are likely to go to the cinema in January and February. This has led to the belief that some studios rush out their flops in January and February to avoid them making big losses later in the year!
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about February that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!