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What Happened to February?
new moon will always land right around Valentine’s Day. There’s no chance of even a waxing crescent for couples on that special night. But, how did this come to pass? February used to not exist at all. The calendar used by the ancient Romans would, at a glance, look very familiar to us. Its months had 30 and 31 days, and the year ended in December. But both January and February were missing. This is because the Romans, as an agricultural society, didn’t feel the need to track winter months. The days and weeks between December and the spring equinox were just, well, nothing. Eventually, the calendar was updated to more accurately reflect the lunar cycle. January and February were added, and the year was extended to 355 days. At the time, people believed that even numbers were unlucky, and the Roman ruler of that era, King Pompilius, was hesitant to create any more even-numbered months. But, to get everything to add up to 355, he had to leave one month stuck with unlucky number 28. And the rest is history. Over the centuries, days were added here and there, the leap year was eventually instituted by Julius Caesar, and we came to the 365-day calendar we know today. But this year, as we let Valentine’s Day pass in the dark, think back to the legacy of King Pompilius and his one unlucky month. WHY IS FEBRUARY SO SHORT? And Why Is There No Full Moon This Month?
If you were planning a romantic, moonlit stroll sometime this month, you’d better reschedule for March. But, on the bright side, if you’re terrified of werewolves, you can rest easy for the entire month of February. Every 20 years or so, because of its 28-day length, February lands between the zeniths of the lunar cycle. February passes without a full moon, while January and March get to double up. Astronomers call this event a “black moon,” and it’s happening this year for the first time since 1999.
There’s a certain irony that comes with the full moon skipping the most romantic month of the year. In fact, a black moon February ensures that the
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