[dropcap]F[/dropcap]ebruary is now with us and it is still the shortest month even if it is a day longer than usual this year.
So let’s see what we can find out before it’s over.
1. February is named after the purification ritual Februa, which was a sort of early Roman spring cleaning festival.
2. In Old English, February was called Solmonath (Mud month) or Kale-monath (Kale or cabbage month).
3. February frequently occurs in lists of the most commonly mis-spelt words in the English language.
4. The Americans have trouble with the word February too last year, a press release from the White House consistently spelt it as Feburary.
5. Much Ado About Nothing is the only Shakespeare play that mentions February.
6. Before Julius Caesar’s calendar reform of 45BC, February was the only month with an even number of days. All the rest had 29 or 31.
7. February is the only month that can pass with no full moon. This will next occur in 2018.
8. In the USA, February is National Pet Dental Health month. It is also Hot Breakfast month.
9. The birthstone for February is amethyst. The birth flower is the violet or iris.
10. The ancient Greeks believed that amethyst protected the wearer from drunkenness.