Sunday, February 01, 2009

February origins and folklore

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
January and February were introduced into the Roman calendar by the emperor Numa Pompilius. Februare = 'purification'; this was the month of expiation and purification for Romans. Numa arranged for it to have 29 days except in leap years when it had, by the intercalation of a day between the 23rd and 24th, thirty.

When Augustus Caesar added a 31st day to the month named after him, so that it would not lack the dignity of having the full complement of days, he took a day from February, which could least spare it.

Now we drop a day from each century except those of which the ordinal number can be divided by four – again we take it from February. So there was no February 29 in 1800, 1900 and will be like this again in 2100, 2200, and so on.

Saxon name: Sprout-kale, sprouting of cabbage. Afterwards called Sol-monatt, return of sun.

February is represented in art by a man in a sky-coloured dress, bearing in his hand the sign of Pisces.

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