The Origin of the Month of February

The name of the current second month is attributed to the days of the ancient Romans. During this era, a different calendar system was used. The beginning of their year started in the middle of what we now call February.

In 690 B.C., the second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius, designated the last month of the year (our February) as a time for purification and renewal. He declared the first month of the year as the festival of ‘Februa,’ which he named after the Roman goddess of passion and fertility. This month then became known as a time to hold a spring festival of “spiritual washing,” and was celebrated as a holy month, even though the day of reverence occurred on the 15th.

In 1582, Pope Gregory adjusted the annual calendar to begin the year on January 1st, rather than in the middle of February. The updated calendar became known as the “Gregorian Calendar,” and is still predominately used to this day. Though most of the world celebrates the New Year at the beginning of January, the second month of the year is still revered as a time to hope for a fresh start. February evolved from a time to purge the baggage of an ex-lover and evildoers (sometimes, these are both the same person), we now commemorate the desire for another during this month. Somewhat similar to the ancient Roman festival of Februaa and held the day before, February 14th, Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate the love and passionate affections shared between couples, friends, and families.

Jan 29, 2019 Staff

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