“Light tomorrow with today.” ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning
By: Proserpina, 12:27 PM GMT on February 01, 2013
'Les Tres Riches' by Heures du duc de Berry
Afternoon in February
The day is ending,
The night is descending;
The marsh is frozen,
The river dead.
Through clouds like ashes
The red sun flashes
On village windows
That glimmer red.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Why, what’s the matter,
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?”
(William Shakespeare, Much ado About Nothing)
February was originally Februarius, the last month of the year.
Februa is the Roman festival of purification, held on February fifteenth. It is possibly of Sabine origin.
February’s official flower is the violet.
Violets are said to be a symbols faithfulness, modesty, and chastity. These meanings are connected to the Greek myth that explained their origin. According to the Greeks, the goddess Artemis changed one of her nymph companions, who had sworn to remain a maiden forever, into a violet to protect her from the unwanted attentions of the god Apollo.
Amethyst is the birthstone for the month of February.
February Facts and Trivia
• The Supreme Court of the U.S. met for the first time on February 1, 1790.
• Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809.
• The first United States president and founding father George Washington was born on February 22, 1732.
• On February 14, 1859 Oregon became the 33rd state to join the Union.
• February is the most misspelled of all the months.
• The U. S. acquired the Florida territory from Spain on February 22, 1819.
• On February 8, 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots was executed.
• Sir Frances Drake became the first known Englishman to sail the Pacific. He sailed on February 11. 1578.
• On February 10, 1962, Astronaut John Glen Jr. became the first American to orbit the earth.
• The Boy Scouts of America incorporated in February in 1910.
• Amethyst is the birthstone for the month of February.
• Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth on February 6, 1952.
• The astrological signs for February are: Aquarius, January 20 - February 18 and Pisces, February 19 - March 20.
• The U. S. Senate ratified the peace treaty ending the Spanish-American War, February 6, 1899.
• Groundhog Day, celebrated on February 2, came about because of a German superstition. They thought if a hibernating animal cast a shadow on February 2nd that winter would last for another six weeks. If there was no shadow, spring would come early.
"I'm a little groundhog, it's my day.
Wake and stretch, go out and play.
Down in my burrow, down so deep,
Time to wake, from my long winter's sleep.
Grumble, grumble, scratch, scratch,
Grunt, grunt, yawn.
I'll eat my breakfast in your front lawn.
I'm a little groundhog, it's my day.
Wake up and stretch, go out and play.'
- Author Unknown
"Valentine's Day is thought to have evolved from a spring holiday celebrated in the days of ancient Rome. The feast of Lupercalia was actually celebrated on February 15 and honored the god Lupercus, who protected the people and their herds from wolves. On this day, dances were held for all the single young men and women. A man would draw his partner's name from a piece of papyrus placed in a bowl. The man not only danced with his partner but was also obligated to protect her throughout the new year, which began in March. In many cases, the partners became sweethearts and were soon married. When the tradition of these dances was later revived in the Middle Ages, a man would wear his sweetheart's name on his sleeve. Even today we refer to someone quick to show feeling as "wearing his heart on his sleeve.""
- Valentine's Day Legends
May your month of February be a good one.
Updated: 8:46 PM GMT on February 03, 2013