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 also hosts one extra day every so often – making it a real oddity.
Let’s run through some of the fun facts that February has to offer!
1. It’s always number two.
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.
2. February gets affected by leaps.
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 synchronize 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!
3. What does February even mean?
February is a proper noun and its name in Latin means ‘purification’. Ancient Latin refers to the month as ‘Februum’.
4. Weather varies in February – obviously!
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!
5. Show some love!
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!
6. Not very caring…
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.
7. Leap year birthdays are weird.
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!
8. A very literal translation!
The Welsh name for February is ‘y mis bach’. This roughly translates as ‘the little month’, and they’re not incorrect!
9. February came last.
February was the last month to be added to the Roman calendar, following behind January. Traditionally, calendars used to run from March to December.
10. What are February flowers?
February, just like all other months in the calendar, has its own flowers. February flowers are primroses and violets.
11. And what’s the color of February, anyway?
February also has its own theme colors, which are often yellow and purple. However, pale blue sometimes represents February, too!
12. February birthstones are as follows.
February’s birthstones may vary, but they are generally pearls and amethysts. That’s a lot of purple!
13. The zodiac goes watery.
February births will either sire Aquarians or Pisceans, though you’re more likely to be an Aquarian due to the shortness of the month.
14. Edison was a February-born innovator.
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!
15. Darwin, too, celebrated in February.
Other famous February-born historical figures include Charles Darwin. Born on February 12th, he is considered the father of the theory of evolution.
16. And they keep on coming!
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.
17. It’s a musical month, too.
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.
18. The Mounties started out in February.
The Canadian Mounted Police first formed on February 1st, 1920.
19. Records came to pass in February.
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.
20. February is a big month for social media.
February is the birth month of Facebook. It was set up by Mark Zuckerberg on February 4th, 2004.
21. It’s even Barbie’s birthday!
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.
22. This famous magazine has February roots.
The Readers’ Digest celebrates its birthday in February, on the 5th. It’s coming up towards its 100th!
23. Dib dib dib!
The Boy Scout movement first emerged in the US in February, in 1910.
25. It’s also when Disney made a big breakthrough.
Disney first released their ground-breaking animated movie debut, ‘Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs’, in February 1938.
24. Queen Elizabeth ascended one February.
On February 8th, 1952, Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne – and she’s reigned there ever since!
26. It’s not always a big month for movies.
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!
FAQs about February
Why is it even called February?
The month is said to be named after an important Roman festival, once referred to as Februa.
Is February known as the 12th month?
In some ways, it is the 12th month, not the 2nd! That’s because it was the 12th to be added to the current calendar.
Why does February have 28 days?
It’s to do with Numa Pompilius, former king of Rome, who decided to keep the days this length to move it in line with the lunar calendar.
Do you know any fun facts about February? Share them in the comments below!