There's a lot to celebrate and pay tribute to in February. Find out what holidays you can celebrate this month!
Black History Month
As a young man, Dr. Carter G. Woodson noticed the complete absence of Black Americans in his history books. So he set out to change that by establishing the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now called the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History) in 1915. A year later, Dr. Woodson founded the widely respected Journal of Negro History. He initiated the celebration of Negro History Week on the second week of February, which eventually evolved into Black History Month.
February was chosen as the month to recognize Black history because many important civil rights moments have taken place in February, including the founding of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).
Groundhog Day is a very popular tradition in North America, celebrated on February 2nd. On this day, the groundhog comes out of his hole after sleeping through the winter (hibernating) to look for his shadow. If he sees his shadow, it means that there are six more weeks of bad weather to come. If he doesn't see his shadow, it means that it is unofficially spring (spring officially starts on the spring equinox) and nice weather is on its way.
Mardi Gras, which is French for Fat Tuesday (February 9th), is a holiday that's also called Shrove Tuesday. This holiday is all about carnivals, costumes and parades, with the biggest parties going down in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mardi Gras falls on a different day each year, but it's always 46 days before Easter.
Valentine's Day, February 14th, is the day of love - and chocolate! This holiday goes back hundreds of years. The holiday is around today thanks to a Catholic bishop who married young lovers in secret against the laws of the Roman Empire. These days, Valentine's Day is mostly about greeting cards and candy hearts. It has even evolved to the digital age with people sending e-cards and other digital love to celebrate budding romances.
This holiday was originally set aside to celebrate George Washington's birthday, but President's Day has evolved into a day of recognition for all past and present presidents. At one time, both Abraham Lincoln's birthday and George Washington's birthday were celebrated as separate holidays, just 10 days apart, but President Nixon merged the two holidays in 1971. Now, the third Monday in February is officially designated President's Day. In 2016 President's Day is February 15th.
Canadian Heritage Day
Canadians usually celebrate Heritage Day in the third week of February. It's not a statutory holiday, but Canadians still appreciate a day to remember their history. In 2016 Canadian Heritage Day is February 16th.
Have Your Say
Did we miss any holidays? What will you be celebrating this February?