In this article, you can find information about the most significant February holidays. You can see the dates of February celebrations, as well as details about the signigican of the holiday and how it is generally celebrated.
What Day Is Today’s February Holiday?
|1||National Freedom Day||US||Historical||Celebrating the freedom enjoyed by all Americans.|
|2||Groundhog Day||US||Fun||Punxsutawney Phil predicts whether winter will end.|
|4||Super Bowl Sunday||US||Fun||Marks the beginning of the new football season.|
|11||International Day of Women and Girls in Science||International||Observance||Honoring the accomplishments of women in STEM fields.|
|13||Mardi Gras||US||Religious/Fun||Celebration in preparation of the Lent fast.|
|14||Ash Wednesday||World||Christian||The first day of Lent.|
|14||Valentine’s Day||World||Fun||A celebration of romantic love.|
|18||President’s Day/Washington’s Birthday||US||Historical||Honoring the Presidents of the US.|
What is the Meaning of February Holidays?
The first day in February is celebrated in the US as National Freedom Day. It is a day in which Americans should remember the great freedoms they enjoy in the country, as well as the struggles of those who made it so. Historically, February 1st is the day in which Abraham Lincoln signed the resolution which would letter be incorporated into the Constitution as the 13th Amendment. The 13th Amendament formally abolished slavery and involuntary servitude. February is also Black History Month in the US.
On the second of February, many in the US celebrate what is known as Groundhog Day. Groundhog Day is rooted in an old Pennsylvania Dutch belief that if the sky is clear on February 2nd and a groundhog sees its shadow, and runs back to its den, then another 6 weeks of winter will follow. Nowadays, the ceremony is held in Punxsutawney, PA. The almost legendary Punxsutawney Phil groundhog is said to be the same groundhog as the one who had been predicting the weather back in the 1880s, when the formal Groundhog Day event started.
On the first Sunday of February Americans celebrate the beginning of the new NFL championship. Super Bowl Sunday does not have a fixed date. In 2018, Super Bowl Sunday falls on February 4th. People usually gather at home to watch the game and have drink. Sports bars usually hosted events during Super Bowl Sunday, however, in recent years, it has become more and more Americans choose to spend Super Bowl Sunday at home.
International Women and Girls in Science Day was established by the UN General Assembly in 2016. On February 11th, people from all around the world are encouraged to learn more about women in STEM fields, as well as celebrate the accomplishments of those female scientists, engineers, mathematicians and technical fields that history has overlooked. It is also a day in which people should remember how difficult it is for girls to be accepted in STEM fields, and do their best to encourage more girls to purse a STEM career.
Mardi Gras is one the most popular celebrations in the US, particularly in the former French colonies. While Mardi Gras is specific to the US, many countries have similar celebrations, such as Carnival (Brazil), Masopust (Czech Republic), Fettisdagen (Sweden) or Carnaval de Barranquilla (Colombia) to name just a few. Mardi Gras, like all the other celebrations mentioned, is a period marked by lavish festivities, parties, and feast, in preparation for Lent. In fact, the word “carnival” itself comes from the Latin “carne vale”, which translates to “farewell to meat.” Since Mardi Gras is tied to Lent and Easter, its date is not fixed. It is usually celebrated in the week leading up to Ash Wednesday.
Ash Wednesday is celebrated throughout the Christian world as the first day of the Lent fasting period. Observant Christians place ashes on their head as a sign of repentance. In some areas, they use the ash resulted from burning the palm leaves of the previous year’s Palm Sunday. Ash Wednesday is celebrated 46 days before Easter Sunday, and as such, does not have a fixed date. It can fall as early as February, or as late as March.
Valentine’s Day always celebrated on the 14th of February. Although it is a celebration of love, ironically, it is perhaps one of the most divisive February holidays. It originated as a Christian holiday, although it is unclear to which Saint Valentine it acutally referred to. Some speculate Valentine’s Day actually has its origins in earlier pagan beliefs. At any rate, couples are expected to exchange symbolic gifts, usually referencing hearts or the color red.
On the third Monday of February, Americans in the US celebrate President’s Day. President’s Day is a federal holiday and does not have a fixed date. Depending on the state you’re in, this February holiday may be called Washington’s Birthday, Washington and Lincoln’s Birthday, or President’s Day. Some states celebrate only Washington, who was born on February 22, 1732, while others combine it with Lincoln’s birthday, which is February 12. Other states simply celebrate all the American presidents collectively.
Any February Holidays Missing?
Are there any February holidays we overlooked? Tell us in the comments! How do you celebrate your favorite February holidays?