FEBRUARY , the second
See also:month of the
See also:calendar . In ordinary years it contains 28 days; but in bissextile or leap
See also:year, by the addition of the
See also:day, it consists of 29 days . This month was not in the Romulian calendar . In the reign of Numa two months were added to the year, namely,
See also:January at the beginning, and February at the end; and this arrangement was continued until 452 B.C., when the decemvirs placed February after January . The
See also:ancient name of Februarius was derived from februare, to purify, or from Februa, the
See also:Roman festival of general expiation and
See also:lustration, which was celebrated during the latter
See also:part of this month . In February also the
See also:Lupercalia were held, and
See also:women were purified by the priests of
See also:Pan Lyceus at that festival . The Anglo-
See also:Saxons called this month Sprout-Kale from the sprouting of the
See also:cabbage at this
See also:season . Later it was known as Solmonath, because of the return of the
See also:sun from the low latitudes . The most generally noted days of February are the following:—the 2nd, Candlemas day, one of the fixed quarter days used in Scotland; the 14th, St
See also:Valentine's day; and the 24th, St Matthias . The
See also:church festival of St Matthias was formerly observed on the 25th of February in bissextile years, but it is now invariably celebrated on the 24th .
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