February is a rather unique month. Not only does it change its length every few years, but it also has the fewest number of days of all the months in a given year. In addition, it has two valid pronunciations (courtesy Dictionary.com):
“Usage Note: Although the variant pronunciation (feb-yoo-ary) is often censured because it doesn’t reflect the spelling of the word, it is quite common in educated speech and is generally considered acceptable. The loss of the first r in this pronunciation can be accounted for by the phonological process known as dissimilation, by which similar sounds in a word tend to become less similar. In the case of February, the loss of the first r is also owing to the influence of January, which has only one r.”
Like many months, February’s name comes from Latin, Februarius mensis or “month of Februa”. Februa, or Februalia, was a month-long festival celebrating the god of purification, Februus. Homes were cleaned and blessed, offerings of reparation were given and peace was made. (A perfect thing to do as the winter months wind down, don’t you think?) Februus and his festival became so important to the Romans that eventually they named a month after him.
Although my research isn’t quite clear on this, eventually you get around to some of Februus becoming associated with the god Pluto, ruler of the Underworld, and other parts become identified with Juno Februa, the goddess of fertility and passion. The same festival continues, tho, celebrating Juno Februa. Years later, the early Catholic Church comes up with Saint Valentine’s Day in an attempt to bring all of the pagan festivals and celebrations under Catholic control.
Now that the history lesson is out of the way, and we all understand (sorta) how we got to February being about love, why am I posting about it?
I’m gonna try something that has been percolating in the back of my mind since December. From the first time I told a girl she liked me (I “dropped” a note to her during pass time in second grade…she laughed at me and made fun of me with her friends) to when I got married (and later divorced) I’ve collected a number of experiences I’m going to share this month. Some will be celebratory, some lessons to learn, some will simply be amusing stories. I hope that everyone will enjoy them (and share their comment-love!)
Considering I’ve already used February 1st for this post…and there are 27 days left this year, I’m gonna try to up the ante a bit. Considering there is 26 letters in the alphabet…that leaves one letter, per day, with the final summary post being featured on the 28th. Brilliant! Stay turned for tomorrow…