Ever Wanted To Know Why There Are Only 28 Days In February?
30 days hath September, April, June and November;
All the rest have 31, excepting February alone,
Which only has but 28 days clear
And 29 in each leap year...
Remember learning this poem at school? To this day, we still recite it in our heads when thinking about forward planning.
But have you ever questioned WHY we only have 28 or 29 days in February? Well, we have your answer.
According to the history books (thank you Google), it is actually all to do with the Romans.
Our modern calendar is based loosely on their old one and legend has it that Romulus, the first King of Rome, devised a 10-month lunar calendar that began at the spring equinox in March and ended with December.
The second King of Rome, Numa Popilius, decided to make the calendar more accurate and used the lunar calendar for reference - which is actually 354 days long.
Popilius (great name) added two more months - January and February - to account for the new days.
Because even numbers were considered bad luck at the time, he added one day to January and one to February - giving the year 355 days.
But why 28 for February? Well, it could be that Romans honour the dead during this month, in fact, "februare" means "to purify".
But wait, there's more!
Julius Caesar came into power and changed the calendar from lunar-based to sun-based like the Egyptian one at the time.
Caesar added in 10 days to the calendar year and a random extra day in February every four years, thus the leap year was born.
Now, the average year is 365 days!
If you love using rhymes to memorise things, watch the below video about the history and origins of the common nursery rhyme!