February is a busy month for most. Only two months into the new year and you find yourself swamped with work, busy buying gifts if you have a significant other, and, let’s admit, still stuck in holiday mode from the late-December and early-January partying. February is short and so, admittedly, it makes sense that there shouldn’t be many holidays, but people can make holidays for any occasion, and February has some interesting and culturally significant ones.
Martin Luther King Jr. Source: collider.com.
1. February is Black History Month
Dedicated for the remembrance of the African diaspora and the recognition of some of the important African-American figures that helped shape our history. There are people who reject the notion of dedicating one month to a single race: a country’s history should be history regardless of the racial features of its people. I agree to a certain degree, but I still think it’s great to be able to celebrate and learn about another culture and history for a month.
But why February? Originally introduced in the United States as Black History Week, enthusiasm and popularity eventually grew to make it Black History Month. It is now celebrated in Canada and the States in February and in the United Kingdom in October.
Lunar New Year Celebration in Beijing. Source: www.ctvnews.ca.
2. Lunar New Year often falls in February
Because these New Year celebrations follow the lunar calendar, this traditional holiday sometimes falls in late January. In 2013, celebrations fell around the second week of February. It’s shocking to hear how often people still insensitively say “Chinese New Year” rather than the more culturally appropriate “Lunar New Year”. There are many other cultures that also celebrate Lunar New Year around this time. To name a few: Chinese New Year fell on February 10th, 2013; Korean New Year fell on the same day; Mongolian New Year, also known as Tsagaan Sar, was celebrated over 3 days from February 11th to 13th; Tibetan New Year, or Losar, was celebrated during the same time from February 11th to 13th. Although the Chinese population makes up a significant majority in Canada, “Lunar New Year” is still the more culturally appropriate term.
Hello in different languages. Source: elifestudentblog.blogspot.com.
3. February also contains many other lesser-known holidays such as International Mother Language Day
Designated for recognition on February 21st, this day of observance was first announced in 1999 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to promote linguistic diversity and multilingual education.
Other random events celebrated in February you might not have known about:
Feb 1—Working Naked Day: Sadly this day has passed for those of you who like to work at home comfortably in your birthday suits.
Feb 2—Ice Cream for Breakfast Day: This sounds appetizing.
Feb 3—Dump Your Significant Jerk Day: Happens to fall 11 days before Valentine’s Day.
Feb 5—World Nutella Day: What?! There’s a day for this? Do I really need another reason to indulge myself in sweet hazelnut-y goodness?
Feb 17—Random Acts of Kindness Day: This should be every day.
Feb 20—Love Your Pet Day: For all you animal-lovers out there, give your pets some extra love on this day!
Feb 28—Rare Disease Day: The European Organization for Rare Diseases do not think people have sufficient knowledge of rare diseases and understanding diseases is vitally important to treating them.
For other random days of the year, check out daysoftheyear.com.