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Why is february the shortest month

Numa Pompilius illustration

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

Have you ever ever puzzled why February is the shortest month of the yr? When you check out your calendar, you may discover that February solely has 28 days whereas the opposite months have 30 or 31 days.

Studying: why is february the shortest month

When was the calendar invented?

Ancient roman calendar

Imagine it or not, the calendar we all know right this moment is definitely primarily based on the traditional Roman calendar. It was invented within the eighth century BC by a king named Numa Pompilius.

Again then, Rome was a rising civilization and on a significant inventing spree!

At left is an image of king Numa Pompilius, the emperor of Rome.

Numa Pompilius/Digital Collections, The New York Public Library/The New York Public Library, Astor, Lennox, and Tilden Basis

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What’s up with Leap Day? Examine February 29 — the date that solely comes round each 4 years

Was it true there was a unique calendar?

Field of barley An image of a Roman calendar discovered within the ruins of Nero’s villa at Antium. When you look shut, you may even see the months listed alongside the highest of the image. Picture licensed Public Area by way of Wikimedia

There is a hearsay that the rationale why February is the shortest month of the yr is as a result of one other king named Augustus Caesar stole a day from February so as to add to the month named after him — August. Nevertheless, the actual purpose February is shorter begins with the truth that the primary calendar was solely 10 months lengthy. It is true!

Why was the calendar solely 10 months lengthy?

January and February calendar A subject of barley — a crop favourite of Historical Rome. Photograph by michieru licensed CC BY 2.0

Farming was a giant deal in historic Rome. Roman farmers producing wheat, spelt and barley which have been principally all of the elements to make their favourite meals, bread! Farming was so essential to Romans that King Pompilius did not even hassle to call the time in between harvests. The calendar yr started in March and resulted in December. Every part else was simply known as winter!

A bunch of colorful numbers — big and small An agenda with pages open on the months of January and February. Picture courtesy of Pixabay

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Nevertheless, with the calendar solely being 10 months lengthy, it started to fall out of sync with the Lunar calendar which tracked the phases of the moon. The Lunar calendar had 355 days a yr and 12 lunar cycles (or months) whereas the Roman calendar solely accounts for 10.

Confused but?

So have been the Romans! They did not know whether or not to observe the 12-month Lunar calendar or the brand new 10-month calendar invented by King Pompilius! To resolve this downside, the king added two extra months after December and known as them January and February.

In order that was it? The issue was solved?

CBC Kids |  Play Games, Watch Videos, Explore These are a bunch of vibrant, random numbers. Photograph by Jurgen Appelo licensed CC BY 2.0

Effectively, not likely. This precipitated extra issues as a result of historic Romans thought that even numbers (2,4,6,8, and so on.) have been unfortunate! Due to this King Pompilius made the months both 29 or 31 days lengthy however the math nonetheless did not add as much as match the Lunar Calendar. One month needed to be an excellent quantity so poor February drew the unfortunate straw with 28 days! Most likely simply because it was the final month of the yr. Sure, you learn that appropriate! In these days the beginning of the brand new yr was March 1st, not January 1st like we’ve now.

A lot later, Julius Caesar rearranged the calendar yet one more time, lastly giving it the twelve months we all know right this moment and the remaining is historical past! February nonetheless maintains its brief size, however with all the good issues that occur in February, like Valentines Day and Household Day, it is fairly fortunate in any case!

How did the times of the week get their names? Discover out!

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