February is the shortest month of the year. Four short weeks and we’re done with it. Here’s a couple of dates and things to look forward to in February:
February is Black History Month. Now is a good time to read a book about black history. Here’s a writer I’ve been hearing about: Bell Hooks, a celebrated black feminist writer, has written several books that explore the intersection between race, gender, and society. But in the book, All About Love: New Visions she examines the foundation of love and the ways in which cultural norms have shaped how we love one another. By being more loving, we can advance justice and humanity. This book is on my list for this month. And of course, Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is an amazing memoir of her life that I read several years ago, but recommend highly. I might read it again. If reading books isn’t your thing, the movie Beloved based on the book by Toni Morrison is highly recommended. The movie won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture, and a Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Drama. February is a good month to set the goal of becoming a little more informed. Black history wasn’t taught in schools when I attended in the 60’s and 70’s.
February 1st is National Freedom Day in The United States. On this day, President Abraham Lincoln signed a joint resolution by the House and Senate that proposed the abolition of slavery. This was later added as the 13th Amendment to The United States Constitution. National Freedom Day marks the first day of Black History Month. It is not an official public holiday and I never heard of it before doing this research. Just sayin’. For more information on this observance, you can follow this link: https://www.calendarr.com/united-states/national-freedom-day/
The first week of February is World Interfaith Harmony Week. Who knew? The World Interfaith Harmony Week started in the 1990’s as a U.N. initiative to encourage Christians and Muslims to engage in dialogue based on their two common fundamental religious commandments: To love God and to love one another. It is now hoped that this week will provide a focal point from which all people of goodwill can recognize that the common values they hold far outweigh the differences they have, providing a strong dose of peace and harmony throughout the world. There are up to a dozen events scheduled daily in the United States alone, but you don’t hear much about this in the media. Here’s a link to the calendar of events, filtered for United States events only: https://worldinterfaithharmonyweek.com/event-calendar/ I find it interesting that the company Aramark is hosting a couple of events around the word Synergy. According to their website, Synergy is a division within their company dedicated to building an inclusive workplace for people of all faiths and religious beliefs that reflects Aramark’s clients, customers and suppliers. Additionally, they say “we bring our whole selves to work, and Synergy allows us to bring that spiritual component with us into the workplace in an appropriate and respectful manner.” In case you don’t know, Aramark provides hospitality services in many of our National Parks in this country, among other venues. Newsweek states they are one of “America’s most responsible companies.”
February 2nd is Ground Hog Day/Candlemas/Imbolc. Ground Hog Day is celebrated in this country, or at least noticed on TV, with a prediction made by “Punxsutawney Phil” a ground hog they trot out every year who supposedly either sees his shadow, predicting another 6 weeks of winter, or he doesn’t, which predicts that spring is here. I personally rely on this prediction very little, but I did like the movie starring Bill Murray. Maybe it’s time to trot that out again just for shits and giggles. For more information about Groundhog Day you can follow this link: https://www.calendarr.com/united-states/groundhog-day/
Now Candlemas, on the other hand, is a real feast day, honored by Christians, and particularly the Catholic Church, dating back to the 4th Century AD, when it was first celebrated in Jerusalem. The church teaches that Jesus was presented at the temple 40 days after birth, and therefore this date is called, Candlemas, or Presentation Day. It is celebrated with a candlelit procession before mass, symbolizing Jesus as The Light of The World. For more information, you can follow this link: https://www.calendarr.com/united-states/candlemas-day/
By far my favorite form of celebration for this day though, is Imbolc. Imbolc is a celtic word that means “in the belly” and speaks of the earth being pregnant with new life. This is an Irish or Celtic celebration, and I guess it resonates with Irish ancestry. In Ireland, on the evening of February 1st, the first wave of spring is welcomed with a huge feast! The pagan tradition of honoring the goddess Brigid also takes place at this time. For more information about Imbolc, you can follow this link: https://nationaltoday.com/imbolc/ All of this to say, the beginning of February, which marks the 6-week period between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox is a big deal! Now is the time to do things like plant flowers (if you have enough warmth and the ground isn’t frozen – Southern California people, I’m talking to you!), or clean your house. This is undoubtedly where we got the tradition of “spring cleaning.”
And then of course, also on February 2nd, we have “National Tater Tot Day”, not to be confused with “National Common Tater Day.” When we honor the TV talking heads (just kidding!)
On February 3rd, we honor women physicians. I know a couple of women physicians and today is a day to say thanks for all they do, and to recognize their achievements in breaking the glass ceiling in the medical field in this country. It’s no easy task. As for myself, I prefer a female physician and will always choose one if I have a choice in the matter.
And speaking of health matters, February 3rd is also “National Wear Red Day,” in which we are all encouraged to wear red to raise awareness about the dangers of heart disease. Seems like a small step to take, but maybe it’ll make us all more aware of our diet and exercise situation (for most of us not enough) and to learn more about prevention and treatment of heart disease. Since my husband had a cardiac arrest last September, and almost didn’t make it, this is something I plan to do. We didn’t know that John had heart problems until he fell down dead on the bedroom floor on September 13, 2022. Thankfully, they were eventually able to revive him. Sometimes the first hint you get that you have heart disease is when you have a heart attack or cardiac arrest. It truly is the silent killer.
One way to relieve your stress, might be to adopt a Golden Retriever. Such cute pups they are, and so calm and easy to be around. And guess what? February 3rd is also National Golden Retriever Day. Try your local animal shelter first to see if you can be matched up with a Golden Retriever, and if not, adopt one through a reputable breeder.
February 4th is Thank Your Mail Carrier Day! I personally plan to do something for my mail carrier that day. Maybe they would like a dozen cookies or something. I find myself more and more irritated with the post office because I don’t get my mail anymore until 7pm or so at night. It’s cold and dark at that time! I’m told it’s because the highest priority for mail carriers these days is delivering Amazon packages. The Post Office has a contract with Amazon now and that’s what they do first, before delivering the regular U.S. mail. This disgusts me for lots of reasons, but when I was a kid, the mail was delivered every day, Monday through Saturday, at about the same time. 5:00 pm at the latest. Then, we had our mail and our mail carriers could go home. Now, we have a different mail carrier every day, and the mail isn’t delivered until it’s dark. This is unacceptable to me that the mail carriers are treated like this. It’s just. Plain. Wrong. Let them know you appreciate them this February 4th. On this day we also celebrate Rosa Parks Day and World Cancer Day.
February 5th is World Nutella Day. I love Nutella, but I’ve eaten considerably less the last few years, which is probably good for me and the planet, since it’s made heavily of palm oil. They claim to use “sustainable palm oil” from Malaysia, whatever that is. That said, Nutella on fresh strawberries is delicious and a great February treat. Oops! Sorry. For more information about palm oil and the clearing of rain forests to plant palm tree farms, you can follow this link: https://www.planetforward.org/idea/facing-the-facts-about-nutella-palm-oil-the-environment
February 6th is National Frozen Yogurt Day. Yum! If you’re in The Grand Valley, where I live, Graff Dairy has the best frozen yogurt in town. You can have it served in a waffle cone. One good idea is to have the inside of the cone smeared with Nutella, and then have it topped with sliced bananas and nuts. Try pistachios if you’re allergic to peanuts. Oh God, there I go again!
February 7th is National Send a Card to a Friend Day. I bought some very cute, old fashioned-looking valentines this year and I plan to send them out in time for Valentine’s Day, so February 7th, as it turns out, works out perfectly for getting your valentines sent.
February 11th is International Girls and Women in Science Day. Yes! I’m all for this. My daughter got a science degree from The University of Colorado and now works at FEMA. I’m very proud of her for this, but you too, may know a girl or a woman in one of the sciences that you can plan to honor that day.
February 12th Is Superbowl Sunday in this country. This is undoubtedly the largest national celebration of anything anywhere in the USA! This year, It takes place on the second Sunday of February, and so for this year, it’s February 12th. This year the game starts at 4:30pm Eastern, and pits the Kansas City Chiefs against the Philadelphia Eagles. Super Bowl 57 (that’s right, we’ve been doing this for 57 years- but who’s counting?) Kickoff is slated for 6:30 pm eastern time, and 4:30 pm local Arizona time. It’s being played at Cardinals Stadium in Arizona. If you feel you must attend the event live and in-person and nothing else will do, the lowest cost tickets are currently around $4,000. For me, I’d rather stay home and watch the commercials on TV. The Eagles are a slight favorite to win.
February 12th: Lincolns Birthday. This is not a national holiday, so everything will be open that day unless you happen to live in certain states, including California, New York, or Illinois. There are a few others, but mostly, Lincoln’s birthday is celebrated on President’s Day, also known as Birthington’s Washday, I mean Washington’s Birthday, which is scheduled for the 20th of this month.
February 14th is Valentine’s Day: The day we have all been waiting for! Hopefully, you mailed out all your valentines the week before and now you can just sit around and wait for your load of valentines to be delivered to your home mailbox. Make room on the driveway for the skip loader. You can string them up between the walls of your bedroom like my grandmother used to do with Christmas cards. I’ll be making a nice dinner of Cornish Game Hens and finishing it up with a homemade heart-shaped cake. I’ve been doing something similar for years.
Other notable dates in February include Susan B. Anthony’s birthday, International Childhood Cancer Day, Singles Awareness Day, National Almond Day, Random Acts of Kindness Day, Pluto Day (the 18th). My son-in-law co-wrote a book about Pluto called “Chasing New Horizons.”
Also, National Love Your Pet Day,
World Day of Social Justice, Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras,
Ash Wednesday (the 22nd), National Margarita Day (don’t plan to give up tequila for Lent! I don’t think there’s a special dispensation to allow for breaking your sacrifice during lent on the 22nd so it’s up to you to decide which is most important) Oddly, the 22nd is also World Thinking Day (I think I’ll have another margarita…).
National Banana Bread Day, National Chili Day, National Pancake Day, and World Spay Day.
So you see? There’s always something to celebrate in February. Celebrate responsibly.
Oh God I’m such a kill joy!
ps: Except for the picture of my cat Jack, all the photos were uploaded from the internet.