Why is February the shortest month of the year? And what’s Valentine’s Day all about? Come find out in our fun facts about February!
Ahhhhh February. What a weird month. Just 28 days long (but sometimes 29 every four years, which is so random when you think about it), February is the most intriguing month on the calendar.
February often gets us in a bit of a tizz too. Famous for Valentine’s Day, partners are often scrambling around trying to find an ‘I Love You’ teddy bear or box of chocolates.
And if you forget to buy a present for your partner because you don’t believe in the manufactured commercial nature of Valentine’s Day? Well, then you’re a very brave soul indeed!
As you’ll learn in our fun facts about February, the month has gone through a series of transitions over the millennia. Keep on reading to find out why!
In Ancient Rome, it was the last month of the calendar year. Then they changed that and it became the second month.
At some point it was shortened to 23 or 24 days. Then, it was stretched to 27 days occasionally to realign the year with the seasons.
Presently, it has 28 days, but that becomes 29 days every four years in a leap year. As we said, this isn’t your standard month! Just imagine if they changed it all again and just said “sod it, let’s make it 30 days and have done with it…”
In this article there are a number of February facts that will really surprise you, so make sure you keep on reading. From extraordinary celebrations to weird events, this is what’s special about February!
Also, you can learn all about the fun facts of March here. This really is one of the most fascinating months of the year so check it out why now!
Table of Contents
17 Fun Facts About February
1. Where did the word “February” come from?
February comes from “februa,” a Latin word meaning “to cleanse,” and was named after a month-long purification festival held this time of the year.
Amusingly, in 2000, the Institute of Business Technology named the second Monday in February as National Clean Out Day. But, it’s not for cleansing the soul… but for cleaning computers!
2. How do they say February in other languages?
The word February translates to over 100 other languages. Some of these languages are as follows:
- Èryuè – Chinese (Mandarin)
- Februari– Dutch
- Février – French
- Februar – German
- Febbraio – Italian
- Februarius – Latin
3. Why is February shortened to 28 days?
Believe it or not, a past Roman superstition made this happen.
The Roman King Numa Pompilius added January and February to the original 10 month calendar to fully sync a new calendar with the lunar year.
However, Numa wanted to avoid having even numbers in his calendar, as Roman superstition at the time held that even numbers were unlucky.
To try and avoid this, he chose February, a month that would be host to Roman rituals honoring the dead, as the unlucky month to consist of 28 days.
4. Why does it become 29 days every four years? And why is it called a leap year?
It’s time for some leap year facts? Relative to avoiding even numbers, Numa added a leap month at a certain interval – with February having 29 days every four years.
The term “leap” is supposed to describe how the calendar catches up with the Earth’s orbit.
By adding a 29th day to February, the calendar year was synchronized with the astronomical year.
5. How many people are born on February 29?
The probability of February 29 birthdays is 1 in 1,461.
U.S. Census Bureau data reveals that only about 0.07% or 205,000 people in the U.S. have a February 29 birthday.
Another interesting fact about February: People born on February 29 are called “leapers.” How cool is that!?
6. How and when do “Leapers” celebrate their birthday?
“Leapers” get to celebrate their actual birthdays only every four years.
They usually celebrate their birthdays on February 28 or March 1 and use these dates on official documents.
Famous “leapers” are Pope Paul III, Tony Robbins, Mark Foster and Ja Rule. Sorry they aren’t the most famous celebrities there!
7. People born on a leap day are technically younger!
Technically, if you were born on leap day, you’d be younger than your actual age.
Let’s say you were born on February 29, 1993. If you count the non-leap years, you’re 28-years-old (obviously). However, if you just count the leap years, you’ll only be 7-years-old. This could be the secret to eternal youth!
8. No full moon?
February is the only month in the year that could miss having a full moon completely. Some months get a blue moon (two full moons in a month), and February often ends up with none!
However, sometimes, like in 2022, the full moon of February is called the Snow Moon.
9. Can you spell February?
Don’t worry, this isn’t a spelling bee, but just another of those random February facts.
Statistically, February is among the most frequently misspelled words in the English language, with the first ‘r’ often overlooked.
In 2015, even White House officials misspelled the word. And that wasn’t even under the Trump administration!
10. A month for the lovers
Just like December is for Christmas, February is for Valentine’s Day. This is on the 14th February every year.
Here’s a little Valentine’s Day trivia. About 144 million worth of greeting cards are purchased for Valentine’s Day yearly. And that’s in the U.S. alone!
Also, on February 29th of a leap year, women often take the lead and are the ones to propose. This is a long tradition. Would you wait for a leap year though to ask the person of your dreams to get married though?
11. Surprisingly, the flower of February isn’t the rose
Because of Valentine’s Day, you’d probably think the flower of February is the rose. Well, you’d be wrong. It’s actually the violet and the primrose.
Violets signify watchfulness, loyalty, and faithfulness. Give a violet to someone to let them know you’ll always be there for them!
The other February birth flower is the primrose, which lets someone know you can’t live without them.
12. What other events are celebrated in February?
Here are some of the happenings in February:
February 2: Groundhog Day
Made famous by Bill Murray’s 1993 movie Groundhog Day, this North American tradition suggests that a groundhog seeing its shadow on February 2 indicates that winter will be six weeks longer; otherwise, spring will arrive soon.
February 12: Chinese New Year
February 12: Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday
Lincoln served for four years as the 16th president of the United States. He was born in 1809 in a small cabin 3 miles south of Hodgenville, Kentucky.
Every 3rd Monday of February: Presidents’ Day
This occasion was initially established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington. Today, it is generally viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents, past and present.
Whole Month of February: Black Month History
In 1926, black leaders sought to honor the legacy of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass on their birthdays. They expanded the occasion to celebrate Black people’s history and achievements.
13. The Little Month
In Welsh, February is sometimes known as “y mis bach” which means “little month.” This is such a perfect description of February, isn’t it?
14. February is considered a perfect month
Once every six years, February is the only month that has four, full seven-day weeks. When this is from Monday to Monday for four weeks, it’s thought to be a ‘perfect month’.
15. A month for football fans
February is also an important month for football fans, as two teams face each other in the Super Bowl on the first Sunday of February.
16. Aquarius and Pisces are the zodiac signs
The western zodiac signs in February are Aquarius which is until February 19th, and Pisces, which is untilFebruary 20th.
17. The birthstone of February is the amethyst
Thought to symbolize royalty with it’s purple hue, this quartz stone does have many other colors and can be sourced in many areas of the world. You can learn all about this amazing and surprising stone in our facts about amethyst!
So there you have it, those were all of our facts about February? Do you have a new-found respect for this surprising month? You can let us know in the comments below!
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February is the only month to have a length of fewer than 30 days! Though it's usually 28 days, February is 29 days long in leap years such as 2020 and 2024. January and February were the last two months to be added to the Roman calendar (c. 713 BC); originally, winter was considered a month-less period.What is the month of February best known for? ›
February boasts popular holidays like Groundhog Day, Valentine's Day, and Galentine's Day (which takes place on February 13 for you to celebrate loving your friends), it also contains key events like the Super Bowl and, in 2022, the start of the Lunar New Year celebrations.What are the 10 interesting facts? ›
- Hot water will turn into ice faster than cold water. ...
- The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows. ...
- The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue. ...
- Ants take rest for around 8 Minutes in 12-hour period. ...
- "I Am" is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
FEBRUARY. From the Latin word februa, “to cleanse.” The Roman calendar month of Februarius was named for Februalia, a festival of purification and atonement that took place during this period.Why is February Born rare? ›
February birthdays are more uncommon.
Not only is it a short month, which leads to fewer births, but every four years is a Leap Year, which means a rare birthday for some folks.
They are either an Aquarius or a Pisces. People born between February 1 and February 18 were born under the star sign Aquarius, while those born later in the month are under Pisces.What awareness is in February? ›
February is American Heart Month. This awareness month was established by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to educate the public about heart disease and stroke.Why is February so short? ›
Because Romans believed even numbers to be unlucky, each month had an odd number of days, which alternated between 29 and 31. But, in order to reach 355 days, one month had to be an even number. February was chosen to be the unlucky month with 28 days.What are 3 random facts? ›
The average person makes about 1,140 telephone calls each year. Stressed is Desserts spelled backwards. If you had enough water to fill one million goldfish bowls, you could fill an entire stadium. Mary Stuart became Queen of Scotland when she was only six days old.What are 100 facts? ›
A person who lives to be 100 is called a centenarian. The sum of the first nine (9) prime numbers is 100. The sum of the first 10 odd numbers equals 100. There are 100 letter tiles in a Scrabble game.
Each of your hands has 14 finger bones. After about age 30, people start shrinking – they get a bit shorter every year. People can go without drinking water for as long as a week without dying. They can go without food for about a month.Is February a boy or a girl? ›
The name February is both a boy's name and a girl's name of English, Latin origin meaning "purification feast".Is FEB short for February? ›
Feb. is a written abbreviation for February.Are February babies lucky? ›
According to a whole range of different sources, February babies have luck on their sides. It's also believed babies born in Feb are more likely to be taller, healthier and more creative than kids born in the other 11 months of the year.Are February babies smart? ›
Studies Suggest February Babies May Be Taller And Smarter
Compared to their summer-born peers, February babies are longer and heavier at birth and grow to be taller by the time they turn 7, according to data on 21,000 kids worldwide. These big kids similarly score higher on neurocognitive tests.
February-themed baby names:
Amethyst (February's birthstone) Violet (one of February's flowers of the month) Primrose (another of February's flowers of the month) Valentine (after St Valentine, who is celebrated in February)
February birth symbols:
Pisces. Animal: Tiger. Stone: Amethyst (Purple)
February babies tend to be happier. Even though they are born in the middle of winter and may have to compete with gray skies and cold weather, one study found that babies born in the winter are more content and well-behaved.What is the rarest birthday? ›
December 25 (Christmas Day) is the least common birthday, while January 1 (New Year's Day) is the second least common.What happens in February 2023? ›
As winter comes to an end, February is the month for Half Term holidays, World Nutella Day, Groundhog Day and St. Valentine's Day.
In each leap year, the month of February has 29 days instead of 28. Adding one extra day in the calendar every four years compensates for the fact that a period of 365 days is shorter than a tropical year by almost 6 hours.
Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, came along around 700 BCE and decided this situation needed some attention. He wanted a new calendar that would match the 12-month lunar cycle, so he added two months after December: January and February.Did February used to have 30 days? ›
February 30 existed from 1930–1931 after the Soviet Union introduced a revolutionary calendar in 1929. This calendar featured five-day weeks, 30-day months for every working month, and the remaining five or six days were “monthless” holidays.What is an easy fun fact? ›
About 75% of your brain is made of water. Your heart beats about 115,000 times a day. Jupiter is the fastest spinning planet in the solar system. The nearest star to Earth is 4.2 light-years away.What are number facts for kids? ›
Number facts are basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division calculations that children should learn to recall instantly with no working out (in other words, they need to learn them off by heart).What is a weird body fact? ›
You are about 1cm taller in the morning when you first get up than when you go to bed. This is because during the day the soft cartilage between your bones gets squashed and compressed. 8.What is the coolest fun fact? ›
If you sneeze too hard, you could fracture a rib. Wearing headphones for just an hour could increase the bacteria in your ear by 700 times. In the course of an average lifetime, while sleeping you might eat around 70 assorted insects and 10 spiders, or more. Some lipsticks contain fish scales.What is a weird but true fact? ›
Snails have been known to sleep up to three years if the weather isn't moist enough to meet their needs. Honeybees flap their wings 230 times every second. At birth, a panda cub is smaller than a mouse and weighs only four ounces. Horses and cows can sleep standing up, but they can only dream when lying down.What are 7 facts? ›
The number seven is a prime number. If you're not in the loop, a prime number is a number that can only be divided by itself and the number one. Seven is the fourth prime number, but it's also a Mersenne prime. A Mersenne prime is more than a standard prime number, as it's equated to be 2^n – 1.Which number is a fact? ›
Number facts are simple calculations with two numbers. They could be addition, subtraction, multiplication or division. Sometimes these can be called fact families. Number bonds (like 3 + 7 = 10, or 9 - 4 = 5) or facts learned from times tables (like 4 x 6 = 24 or 27 ÷ 3 = 9) are number facts.
Every second, your body produces 25 million new cells. That means in 15 seconds, you will have produced more cells than there are people in the United States. The largest bone in the human body is the femur, also known as the thigh bone. The smallest bone is the stirrup bone, which is located inside your ear drum.