Why February has 28 Days only?

The month of February

Ever wondered why there has been so much injustice to the month of February? It just has 28 days! I know that every 4 years it has 29, but it is still less than the other months. Well even I never gave it a thought earlier until my husband asked the question. And then began the research.

Human nature is to find someone who can be blamed for things. I have found whom to blame for this shorter Month! Its the Romans.

The history behind the shorter February:

Now you would be wondering what did they do? Well let me tell you the entire story so that you can go ahead and spread this wisdom with the people you know and feel smart and historically aware about it! So much for this shorter month, and why not, its in fact the love month – it holds Valentine’s, it must be special isn’t it?

That takes us to the Roman times, when winters were considered a useless time period – no agriculture, no harvesting. So no January and No February. But then they realized that they are having a nameless period for 61 days!! I wonder how they realized it so late, but that doesn’t really matter here.

But then came in a smart king – King Numa Pompilius – who raised the very obvious question. Why even have a calendar if you are just going to ignore 1/6th of the days and not mark them as months.So in 713 BCE, he lined the calendar up with the year’s 12 lunar cycles—a span of about 355 days—and introduced January and February. The months were added to the end of the calendar, making February the last month of the year.(Well the calendar was still short of 10 days and had its problems)

But as for every Roman theory, there happened to be superstitions, they said that it would be unlucky to have even numbered months. However hard they tried, they eventually had to have a month with the even numbers.

But as I said earlier, 355 days calendar had its own issues and was creating nuisance everywhere across the world. They had a leap year concept introduced where the high priest determined when the extra day would come. And, thanks again to the human nature, they used to plan it according to their benefit and nobody else would have a say in it.

So, when Caesar came in, he revamped the calendar. He aligned the calendar with the sun and made the year 365 days long. He added days here and there and now February managed to get 28 days. Still less than earlier, but still better than not having any existence.

Thanks to Caesar that we have the calendar in the form we have today. Otherwise we too would have been juggling around with the unnamed winter days, saying – Winter is Coming!

Anyway, this was the story of February. If you know of some other interesting stuff related to the month, please comment.

And yes, to the negligence they had for winter months, I got reminded of the saying – if winter comes, can spring be far behind!

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