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Why are there only twenty-eight days in February?

February is widely acknowledged as the month when the Super Bowl occurs or when Valentine’s Day comes around, but why is it so short compared to the other months? The month February originated from the ideas presented in the Roman Calendar which started all the way back in the 700s B.C.E.

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February is widely acknowledged as the month when the Super Bowl occurs or when Valentine’s Day comes around, but why is it so short compared to the other months? The month February originated from the ideas presented in the Roman Calendar which started all the way back in the 700s B.C.E.

Abby Van Kula, Staff Reporter

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 Have you ever wondered why February has only twenty-eight days, compared to all the other months with thirty or thirty-one days? When sophomore Haley Yopp was asked about it, she replied, “I guess I have never really thought about why February has only twenty-eight day. I just thought it was something that had to do with the lunar cycles.” It all started with the myth that Augustus Caesar stole a day from February so that he could add it to August, the month named after himself. Instead, it started with the Romulus calendar, which was a ten-month calendar that started with the month of March and ended with the month of December. Romulus, the first king of Rome, and his people found the time between December and March to be unimportant when it came to the harvest.

 Later, when Numa Pompilius took over, he decided to change the calendar so that it aligned more with the years’ twelve lunar cycles. This new calendar would need to have three-hundred fifty-five day calendar; therefore, they had to add a couple months. They ended up adding both January and February, but added them at the end of the year, after December. Romans believed that even numbers were unlucky, so each month had an odd number of days; the months alternated between twenty-nine and thirty-one days. However, it did not add up to three-hundred fifty-five days. one month had to have an even number, and that is when February was chosen as the unlucky month to get stuck with an even amount of days.

 According to a piece of Roman writing, this choice of having February be the unlucky month may have something to do with the fact that the Romans honored the dead and performed rituals of purification in February. The name of the month came from the Roman purification called Februa, in which washing rituals took place.

 In an attempt to realign the calendar, seasons, and months, the Romans tried a twenty-seven day leap year as it was needed. This leap year was very inconsistent; therefore it consists of a many flaws. Julius Caesar asked an expert to then create a sun-based calendar, such as the one that the Egyptians used. The Julian calendar added about ten days which made the year now three-hundred and sixty-five days. This made the months either thirty or thirty-one days, except for February. To account for the 365.25 day-long year, one day is added to February every four years which is known as the Leap Year. Now you know why February currently has twenty-eight days, and sometimes even twenty-nine!

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Abby Van Kula, Staff Reporter

Hello, I'm Abby! I'm a sophomore here at Millbrook, and this is my first year on the newspaper staff. I love listening to music! Currently, my favorites...

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Why are there only twenty-eight days in February?