I don’t know about you, but when February finally rolls around, I’ve had it with winter, and this slim block of time feels like it is the longest of all the months. The cold winds are sharper. The snow freezes in surprising patches along the sidewalks glistening with trapped garbage reminding me of fossils ensnared in amber. The sun shines with a brilliant teasing humor and I feel the fool for under-dressing on those bright days. The shadows are strong, and look like intense pulsing veins that reach across the frigid urban earth and it feels like winter will never end.
But given that February is actually the shortest month of the year, this brutally cold little month is filled with interesting, important and not so important days. The first day of February is National Freedom Day which I consider quite important, and the entire month is Black History Month, also quite important. Super Bowl kicks off the month with two football teams struggling for the honor of being the best team of the year. The Academy Awards are handed out in February and we anticipate the reaction of the ground hog; will this creature predict that winter is going to be with us longer or can we begin to look for crocus popping up in the gardens? Mardi Gras gets underway about the middle of the month and did you know that early February is actually the last days of the Christmas Holidays for the Roman Catholics and is a time to bless and purify the candle that will be used throughout the remainder of the year? And for the Jewish religion February 2nd is a day of renewal, hope, and purification.
But on a lighter note the first Sunday of February is set aside for Eat Ice Cream For Breakfast Day. Yes, this little month has a bundle of surprises that go under appreciated, like National Children’s Dental Health. And there is also a day set aside in this month for National Tooth Ache Day. And, little did I know, but it’s also Pet Dental Month.
In this bitterly cold month a day is set aside for Chocolate Mint Day. I don’t have a photo of chocolate mints, and it’s too cold to go outside to do some candy shopping, so this photograph of my favorite, chocolate covered cherries, will have to do. February also takes some interesting twists and turns and goes from devoting a day to chocolate to giving a brief 24 hours to celebrate Polar Bear Day.
Every nut needs it’s day and in February we take time out to remember the Pistachio and give it a national day. This is also a month that we are reminded the importance of Don’t Cry Over Spilt Milk. Then in the same month, and I don’t know why this freezing little month gets this privilege, but we are given an interesting opportunity with Blame Someone Else Day.
Considering this month is still so terribly cold its hard to imagine that one of these chilly days has been set aside for a Public Sleeping Day. The postal service is also acknowledged in February with Thank A Mailman Day. Hopefully he’s not the guy I caught taking a nap in one of the NYC public spaces.
The baker should know that this is the Great American Pie Month and gives the Cherry Pie its own day. This is also Grapefruit Month and the 3rd week of February is International Flirting Week. Do you think pies, grapefruit and flirting are a nice pairing?
The cold and dreary days do not bother him or his friends. They scamper out into the wind and snow and freezing temperatures playing as if it were the middle of August. Life is play to them, never mind the weather, everything is fun.
By the time we reach Valentine’s Day we are about a month away from Day Light Savings when the day light lingers longer and the temperatures begin to warm.
Next year, 2016, will be a leap year and February will have one more day, and the shortest-long month of the year will be even longer.
In honor of February’s National Pie Month I’d like to leave you with a link to an article I wrote a while back about making pies. Click here and enjoy the day. May your hearth be as warm as your heart, and may our spring be just around the corner.