February

February's Birthstone

Amethyst, the birthstone of February, is a variety of Quartz that carries a spectacular purple color that ranges from a blend of deep violet and red to a lighter lilac hue. Ancient Greeks believed that the stone protected the wearer from drunkenness and enabled them to keep a balanced mindset.

African Violet

February’s Birth Flower

February’s birth flower is the violet, which signifies watchfulness, loyalty, and faithfulness. Give a violet to someone to let them know you’ll always be there for them. The other February flower is the primrose, which lets someone know you can’t live without them.

February Holidays

Feb 1 Monday - National Freedom Day - Observance
Feb 2 Tuesday - Groundhog Day - Observance
Feb 4 Thursday - Rosa Parks Day - Local observance - California, Ohio
Feb 5 Friday - National Wear Red Day - Observance
Feb 8 Monday - Chinese New Year Observance
Feb 9 Tuesday - Shrove Tuesday / Mardi Gras - State holiday - Louisiana, Alabama,
Feb 9 Tuesday - Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras - Local observance - Florida
Feb 9 Tuesday - Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras - Observance
Feb 10 Wednesday - Ash Wednesday - Christian
Feb 12 Friday - Lincoln's Birthday - State holiday - CT, IL, MO, NY
Feb 12 Friday - Lincoln's Birthday - Local observance - Florida
Feb 14 Sunday - Valentine's Day - Observance
Feb 14 Sunday - Statehood Day in Arizona - Local observance - Arizona
Feb 15 Monday - Presidents' Day - Federal Holiday
Feb 15 Monday - Daisy Gatson Bates Day - State holiday - Arkansas
Feb 15 Monday -Susan B Anthony's Birthday - Local observance - CA, FL, NY, WI
Feb 28 Sunday - Linus Pauling Day - Local observance-Oregon

National Freedom Day

National Freedom Day is an observance in the United States that honors the signing of a resolution that proposed the 13th amendment of the nation's constitution on February 1, 1865. Abraham Lincoln, who was the president at the time, signed the resolution to outlaw slavery. This anniversary is annually observed on February 1.

Groundhog Day Explained

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is celebrated on February 2. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will persist for six more weeks.

Modern customs of the holiday involve celebrations where early morning festivals are held to watch the groundhog emerging from its burrow.

Shrove Tuesday / Mardi Gras / Fat Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday (known in some countries as Pancake Day) is a day in February or March preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), which is celebrated in some countries by consuming pancakes. In others, especially those (including Louisiana) where it is called Mardi Gras or some translation thereof, this is a carnival day, and also the last day of "fat eating" or "gorging" before the fasting period of Lent.

This moveable festival is determined by Easter. The expression "Shrove Tuesday" comes from the word shrive, meaning "absolve". Shrove Tuesday is observed by many Christians, including Anglicans, Lutherans,Methodists and Roman Catholics, who "make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God's help in dealing with."

Being the last day before the penitential season of Lent, related popular practices, such as indulging in food that one sacrifices for the upcoming forty days, are associated with Shrove Tuesday celebrations, before commencing the fasting and religious obligations associated with Lent. The term Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday", referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of theLenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday

An 1881 Polish painting of a priest sprinkling ashes on the heads of worshipers, the form prevailing in, for instance, Italy, Spain, and parts of Latin America.

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting, is the first day of Lent in Western Christianity. It occurs 46 days (40 fasting days, if the 6 Sundays, which are not days of fast, are excluded) before Easter and can fall as early as February 4th or as late as March 10th. Ash Wednesday is observed by many Western Christians, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Roman Catholics.

According to the canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus Christ spent 40 days fasting in the desert, where he endured temptation by Satan. Lent originated as a mirroring of this; fasting 40 days as preparation for Easter. Every Sunday was seen as a commemoration of the Sunday of Christ's resurrection and so as a feast day on which fasting was inappropriate. Accordingly, Christians fasted from Monday to Saturday (6 days) during 6 weeks and from Wednesday to Saturday (4 days) in the preceding week, thus making up the number of 40 days.

Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from palm branches blessed on the previous year's Palm Sunday, and placing them on the heads of participants to the accompaniment of the words "Repent, and believe in the Gospel" or "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return".

Saint Valentine receives a rosary from the Virgin, by David Teniers III

Valentine's Day

St. Valentine's Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14, and added to later martyrologies. A popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. An embellishment to this story states that before his execution he wrote her a letter signed "Your Valentine" as a farewell. Saint Valentine's Day is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion, as well as in the Lutheran Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrates Saint Valentine's Day, albeit on July 6 and July 30, the former date in honor of the Roman presbyter Saint Valentine, and the latter date in honor of Hieromartyr Valentine, the Bishop of Interamna (modern Terni).

The day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). In Europe, Saint Valentine's Keys are given to lovers "as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart", as well as to children, in order to ward off epilepsy (called Saint Valentine's Malady). Valentine's Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards

George Washington

President's Day

Washington's Birthday is a United States federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States. Colloquially, it is widely known as Presidents Day and is often an occasion to remember all the presidents, not just George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday is also in February. The term "Presidents Day" was coined in a deliberate attempt to change the holiday into one honoring multiple presidents.

The day is also a state holiday in most states with official names including Presidents' Day, President's Day and Washington's and Lincoln's Birthday. Depending upon the specific law, the state holiday might celebrate officially Washington alone, Washington and Lincoln, or some other combination of U.S. presidents. Some states celebrate Washington and the third president Thomas Jefferson but not Lincoln.

Facts about February

February is;

The shortest month of the year.

The third month of Winter

is named for the Latin word Februum which means purification.

Together with January, it was the last of the months added to the Roman calendar.

The largest American sporting event of the year, the Super Bowl, is held in February.

Thomas Edison

Famous birthdays in February

February 3, 1894- Norman Rockwell, renowned painter
February 4, 1905- Clyde Tombaugh, astronomer, discovered planet Pluto
February 6, 1911- Ronald Reagan, 40th U.S. President (1981-1989)
February 7, 1812- Charles Dickens, novelist, "A Christmas Carol"
February 11, 1847- Thomas Alva Edison, inventor of the light bulb
February 12, 1809 - Abraham "Abe" Lincoln, 16th U.S. President (1861-1865)
February 22, 1732 - George Washington, 1st U.S. President (1789-1797)
February 25, 1851- Pierre Aguste Renoir, French Impressionist painter

February is National Chocolate Month

February is National Chocolate month, celebrated by tasting and indulging in all kinds of chocolate specialties.

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DDE profile image

DDE 10 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Impressive month. A well thought of hub about a short month.

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