Welcome to the month of February, where love is in the air, winter’s grasp is beginning to loosen, and lighter, brighter evenings lie ahead….
February is the second month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars.
The month has 28 days in common years or 29 in leap years, with the 29th day being called the leap day. It is the first of five months not to have 31 days (the other four being April, June, September, and November) and the only one to have fewer than 30 days.
The next leap day will be 29th February 2024.
February is the third and last month of meteorological winter in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, February is the third and last month of meteorological summer.
Why do we have leap years?
The number of Earth’s revolutions is not the same as the time it takes for the Earth to get around the Sun. The Solar year is 365.2422 days long, a length which no calendar year can accommodate.
By having leap years every four years we ensure that the months consistently match up with the seasons.
When was the first leap year?
The first leap year in the modern sense in Britain was 1752, when 11 days were ‘lost’ from the month September with the adoption of the Gregorian calendar by Britain and her colonies.
After 1752 we adopted the system still in use today where an additional day is inserted in February in years wholly divisible by four, other than years ending in 00 except for those divisible by 400 which are still leap years (like 2000).
This is certainly not the first use of leap years; the Julian calendar we used before 1752 had a simpler system of leap years, and remember, no calendar is universal. The Islamic calendar Al-Hijra also has an extra day added to the 12th month Zul Hijja on leap years.
When the Egyptians began measuring time by dividing the year into 12 months of 30 days, they added the five extra days onto the end of the year as five days of festivals.
Julius Caesar even tried a ‘year of confusion’ in 46 B.C. The year was 455 days long in the hope that it would sort out the divergence in seasons and months that had occurred.
Key dates in February
Friday 2nd February – The Six Nations Starts
Sunday 4th February – Yorkshire Pudding Day
Friday 9th February – National Pizza Day
Have you tried our Co-op Irresistible pizzas yet? Using premium grade 00 Italian flour we’ve developed a super light and airy crust, giving a delicious, handmade feel which tastes like it’s straight from Naples. We’ve added toppings to our wood-fired pizzas to please every pizza lover, so it’s the perfect excuse for a night in!
Saturday 10th February – Chinese New Year – Year of the dragon
Chinese New Year is the year of the Dragon and festivities start on February 10th, 2024. The lunar new year falls on a slightly different day in January or February of each year, as it follows the Chinese lunisolar calendar, rather than the regular Gregorian calendar used in most parts of the world.
It is also known as Lunar New Year, which is a term that’s more inclusive of the many East Asian cultures that celebrate it, including Koreans, Vietnamese, Tibetans, and others. For 2024, Chinese New Year falls on February 10, 2024, beginning the Year of the Dragon—the wood Dragon to be precise!
The Chinese zodiac sign of the Dragon represents power, success, honour, and luck among the Chinese. You can see why many Chinese parents want to have children in Dragon years! Hopefully, the year of the Wood Dragon will be a creative and auspicious year of progress for everyone.
Tuesday 13th February – Shrove Tuesday – Check out the offers in our food stores, to stock up on ingredients, including lemons, maple syrup and flour!
Wednesday 14th February – Valentine’s Day – Look out for Pizza & Prosecco and Night in for Two Dinner Offers in our food stores. Latest offers can be viewed here.
W/c 19th February – School Half Term
Fairtrade Fortnight – We would normally expect to see Fairtrade Fortnight in February/March, however this year it is moving to September for the 30th anniversary.
Fruit and veg in season for February in the UK
Apples, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Celeriac, Chicory, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Pears, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Red Cabbage, Salsify, Savoy Cabbage, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Squash, Swedes, White Cabbage.
Why should we eat fruit and vegetables in season?
Seasonal food is fresher, tastier, and more nutritious than food consumed out of season. Also, unlike out of season produce which is harvested early to be shipped and distributed to your local retail store, crops picked at their peak of ripeness are also better tasting and full of flavour.
February Birth Flowers
The February birth month flowers are violets and primroses.
Not many flowers bloom in February. However, the tiny woodland plants of February brighten the landscape like purple, colourful slippers. Wild violets show off their purple-blue petals and heart-shaped leaves in the coldest months! Primroses, a small perennial woodland plant, also bloom in wintertime.
Signs of the Zodiac for February
- Aquarius star sign dates: 20 January – 18 February
Aquarius people have the star sign dates between 21st January and 19th February, and belong to the Air element of the zodiac (along with Gemini and Libra – who they have the most romantic compatibility with, FYI). Aquarians are ruled by Uranus, which is the planet of invention, innovation, space travel and aerodynamics. Aquarians not only want to save the world, but they’ve got the engineering and intellectual smarts to actually have a plan on how to do it too.
Aquarius’s symbol is the water bearer, which many believe represents the gifts of truth and pure intentions that they bring to the world. Aquarians are very upfront people, and they don’t do shenanigans or shady business. They’ll tell you how it is and feel no two ways about it if you don’t like it. Some people find them aloof or cold, but they just keep their emotions more buttoned down than most.
- Pisces star sign dates: 19 February – 20 March
Pisces have the star sign dates between 20th February – 20th March and are ruled by the double whammy of Neptune (psychic, esoteric planet of mystery) and Jupiter (lucky son-of-a-gun planet of abundance.) So, the zodiac sign is both secretive and expansive, magical, and worldly, soulful and joyful.
Pisceans, a water sign, are worldly wise ~old souls~ with enormous depths of compassion and empathy for others.
Pisceans’ symbol in the horoscope is two fishes facing opposite directions, this reflects the duality of their continual inner struggle. On the one hand, they want to be successful, busy, driven, and active, but on the other hand, they just want to pull the covers over their head and stay in bed. Life is hard for Pisceans; they pick up on ALL the vibes.