Here Is The Reason Why February Has Only 28 Days

feb 28 days

Some historians believe that February once, had 29 days, but Augustus Caesar stole a day and added it to August since the month was named after him. While the story seems plausible, it has largely been discredited as a myth.

The month ‘February’ was a Roman afterthought, who used the Calendar of Romulus until the 8th century, which was a 10-month calendar starting off in March and ending in December. The months of January and February didn’t even exist.

Martius: 31 days
Aprilius: 30 days
Maius: 31 days
Junius: 30 days
Quintilis: 31 days
Sextilis: 30 days
September: 30 days
October: 31 days
November: 30 days
December: 30 days

The problem was that the year had only 304 days. The Romans didn’t care for January and February since they were mainly planters and harvesters. Thus, they felt no need to create a timetable for these winter months.

Soon afterward, came King Numa Pompilius in 713 BCE, who pointed out the problem with neglecting one-sixth of the year. So he arranged the year in 12 lunar cycles and introduced January and February, which amounted to 355 days in total. The months were added at the end of the calendar, making February the last month of the year.

But no Roman story is complete without some superstition and mysticism! The Romans considered even numbers to be unlucky, so Numa tried to make every month odd. But to get a total of 355, one month had to be even. Thus, the “unlucky and ungainly” month of February got the short stick, which made the calendar looking like this:

Martius: 31 days
Aprilius: 29 days
Maius: 31 days
Iunius: 29 days
Quintilis: 31 days
Sextilis: 29 days
September: 29 days
October: 31 days
November: 29 days
December: 29 days
Ianuarius: 29 days
Februarius: 28 days

Of course, a 355-day calendar can be problematic. The Romans noticed it as well since, after a few seasons, the months would fall out of sync. To keep things straight, the Romans occasionally added a 27-day leap month called Mercedonius, and they would also erase the last couple days of February and start the additional month on February 24.

This addition and subtraction of days caused great confusion, and by the Julius Caesar’s time, no one knew what day it was. So finally, our savior Caesar removed the leap month and reformed the calendar. Rome had to make the year 46 BCE 445 days long just to get back on track! Caesar aligned the months with the sun, added a few more days to make everything add up to 365, with February kept at 28 days at the top of the calendar.

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