February ~ Short, But Sweet

Today, I continue my series of some fun and interesting facts about each month of the year. January is now a memory and already we find ourselves in the shortest month of the year—February.

In spite of its short length, celebrations and events fill the February calendar. February, along with January, was not part of the original Roman calendar. Numa Pompilus added the two months around 713 BC. For almost 200 years, February was the last month of the year.

On the wind in February snowflakes float still. Half inclined to turn to rain, nipping, dripping, chill. ~ Christina Georgina Rossetti, A Year’s Windfalls, 1866

A few things about February:

  • It is the only month in which it is possible not to have a full moon. The next time this will occur is in 2018.
  • In leap years, February is the only month that begins and ends on the same day of the week.
  • The February birthstone is the amethyst. The amethyst was the stone of royalty and means power.
  • The flower is the Primrose
  • In February, we celebrate Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, and President’s Day. It is also the month in which the Super Bowl occurs.
  • February is Black History Month in the US and Canada
  • Famous birthdays in February include US Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln (hence the President’s Day holiday); Baseball legends Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron; Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks; and musicians Bob Marley, Alice Cooper, and George Harrison
  • Native Americans called the February full moon the Snow Moon, since snowfall is often the greatest amount during this month. Some tribes also referred to it as the Hunger Moon since harsh weather conditions made hunting extremely difficult.
  • Three states joined the union in February – Massachusetts in 1788 by ratification of the constitution, Oregon in 1859, and Arizona in 1912.

February is sort of a non-event month for me, although I did begin my two longest running jobs during this month. The first in 1981 and my current job in 2002. (Maybe I should publish a novel during the month of February in hopes it will be on the best-seller list a long time!)

In Texas, we often get our biggest snowfalls in February. When it snows here, most people stay home. We don’t have snowplows and we don’t know how to drive in winter weather. However, in 1985, after a ten-inch snowfall (big for our area), John and I decided we wanted a VCR. We took my Camaro, drove to town, and purchased one. Camaros aren’t known for being high off the ground and it probably drug bottom a few times, but we made it home safe and sound.

Do you have any special memories of February? Please share in the comments.

  • Debbie M.

    I grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where we were guaranteed snow in February and a few snow days from school. Now that I am further south as an adult, it amuses me how people freak out over a few inches of snow! 🙂 That said, we never got the freezing rain that causes so much trouble. Thanks for bringing back memories of my February!

    • Hi Debbie, yes it is funny how we don’t know how to drive on this stuff. (I have got a little more confident – thanks to a car that has front wheel drive.) However, the ice is terrible. Last March, we had an ice storm which practically immobilized everyone. Traffic on the interstate was at a standstill for almost 100 miles. The hospital where I worked notified everyone who wasn’t taking care of patients not to come in. That was a first since I worked there.

      I’m sure you saw your share of snowfall in Michigan – I do think it’s pretty, but I’m glad that we don’t have it all winter! Thanks for stopping by.

  • I love the idea of a post about the month. (And you know I love the moon info.) Being from the north, I know how to drive in the snow; but you’re right, most southerners don’t and the cities shut down. That was hard for me to get used to. As for you driving to get a VCR (bet you’re thrilled with that purchase now 😉 ) in a Camaro, of all things… that’s going to put a smile on my face all day. Glad you made it back safely!

    • Staci – I’m learning a lot from this little project. And I too love the info about the moon. Speaking of which was very bright last night and early this morning – I love the winter moons.

      We had a lot of adventures in my little Camaro. I almost burned the breaks out of it when we went to the Smokey Mountains. I didn’t know how to drive in mountains. Don’t know how to drive in snow, either. LOL Actually, driving in snow isn’t bad, but it’s the doggone ice storms that shut us down.

      • Speaking of, we have bad weather rolling in now. I CAN drive in it, but why, when I can just snuggle under the covers? Be warm, Joan!

        • I will. Overall, we’ve had a mild winter compared to last year. Several days with temps in the 60s and 70s (my kind of winter.) You take care and be safe! 🙂

          • We’ll be fine. I’m thinking it will just be a dusting. Nothing for us northerners to fret over! But thanks!

  • Born in February and growing up in TN, a state not believed to have much snow, many birthday parties were spoiled by snow on the ground. I did not know my birthstone was considered one of royalty, nor did I know a favorite flower, the primrose, was the flower of the month. So glad you and John got out and got the VCR but even happier you got back home safely. I couldn’t help but chuckle reading those words!

    • Sherrey – I didn’t know that about the Amethyst either until I researched this article. It stands to reason – purple is a color of royalty. Yes, we had an adventure that day. We rented some movies, went home, and stayed. Good memories and fun times! And by the way, I’m told it snowed in Dallas mid-March when I was born.

  • Katina Vaselopulos

    Joan, what a sweet post!

    February holds many wonderful memories for me. When I was a child my grandfather used to take me to our vineyard, sometime in early February, to trim the grape vines from the overgrown or unnecessary vine twigs. I remember the stories he told me about the Greek God Dionysus and Pan, about the love he had for each vine and its symbolism, as well as shared the knowledge needed to take care of them. One time, when he left his pruning hook down to drink some water from his canteen, I, being confident that I had mastered the art of pruning, took the hook and trying to copy my grandfather, I cut my left hand at the base of my index finger. Still have the scar. I have included this story in my book. I hope you will want to read in my book what happened next. 🙂

    My father and my mother were born on Feb. 7, fifteen years apart. Our twin boys, were born on Feb. 7. My husband, when I came to the States, took me to Las Vegas on Valentines day and bought me the most beautiful diamond heart in a chain.

    Interesting comments, Sherrey, Staci, and Debbie!

    Love and Light on this love month, and always!

    • Oh Katina, what a lovely story. I can’t wait to read your book and hear the rest of the story. February 7 is certainly a special day for your family.

      Always good to hear from you, Katina!

  • kathunsworth

    Joan our Feb is very different. Its barbecue’s and beach time for us. But I hate how the start of the year just vanishes so quickly and I have all these agenda’s. Time slips through my fingers as I get caught up in the world of school, volunteering etc. I wish I could slow it all down. Its my daughter’s birthday a minute before valentines day she was born. So I guess I could say its a very special month.

    • Oh, the opposite halves of the world! You are right, time slips by so fast. Soon we’ll be enjoying barbecue and beach time and before we know it, another year has passed. Happy birthday to your daughter!

  • La McCoy

    Did you get snow

    • No snow this year, La. (At least so far.) It’s been a fairly mild winter so far.

  • Michele Jones

    I enjoyed your post on February, and it prompted me to go back to check out January’s facts. You learn something new every day. I am from the northern part of the country and have been driving in the snow for quite some time. But picturing you driving your Camaro in the snow for that VCR made me laugh, and think that would make a funny short story.

    • Michele – I could write a lot of funny short stories involving that car. Glad you liked the posts – I’m doing a series on all the months this year and I’m learning a lot!