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Historical anniversaries
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8th 9 10 11 12 13 14th
15th 16 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st
22nd 23 24 25th 26th 27 28
29 ( 30 )
Designations for February
Regional: February
earlier: Hornung, Hintester, Sporkel / Spörkel, Rebmonth / Rebmond, Storm Moon, Melt Moon, Taumond, Fool's Moon, last winter month
Lat.  Nom .: February
Lat.  Gene. : February, February, February
The month of February in the chronograph of 354 by the late antique calligrapher Filocalus .

The February ( Latin februare "clean") is the second month of the year in the Gregorian calendar . Already since 153 BC BC it was also the second month of the Roman calendar . It was named after the Roman festival of cleansing February . In Austria and parts of South Tyrol it is also called Feber , especially in the official language.

Number of days

The month comprises 28 days in common years and 29 days in leap years . The actual leap day is February 24th, i. H. In leap years, a day is inserted after February 23, which is only important for church holidays and name days, which move from February 24 and the following days in leap years to February 25, etc. This explains why the leap year is called année bissextile in French : In ancient times, February 24th (actually February 25th, the sixth from the last day from March 1st, Latin sex ) was calculated twice (Latin bis ) . In leap years February 25th was called dies sextus , February 24th was called dies bisextus , February 23rd was called dies septus and so on.

In the Roman calendar , February was originally the last month. For this reason, it was precisely this month that was appended with surplus leap days , a custom that has been preserved through the Julian and Gregorian calendar reforms.

In non-leap years, February begins with the same day of the week as March (28 divided by 7 is 4, which means that February is exactly four weeks long and the following month begins with the same day of the week) and November , in leap years like that August .

February always begins on the same day of the week as June of the previous year because there is never a leap day (February 29) between the two months.

From a banking perspective, February has 30 interest days like every other billing month (according to the German interest calculation method ) , so that interest statements by February 30th make sense.

Old names

Under Emperor Commodus the month was renamed Invictus , but after the emperor's death it got its old name back. The old German name for February is Hornung , because this month the mature red deer shed the rods of its antlers and start pushing new antlers. Another theory assumes that Hornung means “the bastard conceived in the corner / secret”, since he falls short in the number of days. In Alsace , this month is still called that today. The old name of the month has also been preserved in Pennsylvania German as Hanning .

In the Rhineland and the Netherlands, the names Sporkel , Spörkel and Spürkel were used earlier for February . This expression is derived from the Latin term Spurcalia , which was used by the Church in the Middle Ages to describe the "immoral festivals" celebrated by the people during Carnival. The term fool's moon for February comes from the fact that the old early spring and fertility rituals were held at this time to drive away the demons of winter. Under the influence of Christianization , these boisterous celebrations as were Fastnacht (Fassenacht, carnival) or carnival on the day before Ash Wednesday is limited, so these fools time (mostly) ends in February.

Another common name was Schmelzmond and gardeners used to use the term Taumonat (Taumond) .

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: February  - Explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Feber  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Hornung  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikisource: February  - Sources and full texts


  1. Jakob Ebner: How do you say in Austria? Dictionary of Austrian German. Reprint of the 4th edition in 2009. Dudenverlag, Mannheim 2013, p. 120.
  2. February. on: duden.de
  3. Manfred Clauss : Emperor and God: Rulers Cult in the Roman Empire . Reprint of the 1st edition. KG Saur Verlag, Munich 2001, p. 241. (Google Book, limited preview)
  4. Sprokkelmaand , etymologiebank.nl