February was named after the Latin term februum, which means purification

Historical names for February include the Anglo-Saxon terms Solmonath (mud month) and Kale-monath (named for cabbage) as well as Charlemagne’s designation Hornung. In Finnish, the month is called helmikuu, meaning “month of the pearl”; when snow melts on tree branches, it forms droplets, and as these freeze again, they are like pearls of ice.

I may be biased, but I love the Finnish name. The cabbage name tickled me as purple as the red cabbage I’d scanned the other day!

February is the also the month of Valentines (though we ignore it) and some years Leap Day. Many famous folk have February birthdays. Today is the 200th birthday of both Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin, imagine that, born exactly the same day and year!

And last but not least, yesterday, February 11th was my (not-so-famous) birthday. I took pleasure in the mostly sunny day, the snowdrops that are finally (a month late) blooming in my garden, and in our walkabout and delicious dinner on Granville Island. To come later is my husband’s birthday, so it’s a great month!

P.S. Unrelated, but here’s a music video to make you smile: The Mom Song, with thanks to Viides Rooli.

February 12, 2009 in History, Neat stuff by Marja-Leena