February, the shortest month

The leap year is the one in which February, instead of 28 days, has 29, which is due to the fact that the calendar year does not last exactly 365 days. It actually lasts 365 days and 6 hours, and these 6 hours have to be added every 4 years (6×4=24 hours so one day).

As an agreement, it was decided to leave the 365-day calendar and add one day every four years to balance the accounts and avoid the time difference.

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The word 'February' derives from the Latin 'Februarius', and was the month dedicated to Fever, the Roman deity of purification. For the Romans, it was a month dedicated to purification rites, symbolising the condition of nature in the process of awakening from its winter torpor.

In this month the first pansies, daisies and mimosas.

February is a month of important holidays, from Candlemas to Valentine's Day to carnival.

After the Blackbird Days thoughts immediately fly to Candlemas, which falls on 2 February, is a symbolic day, is located midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.

On this day it is customary to predict the weather of the following weeks. As an old popular proverb says 'By Holy Candlemas if it snows or if winter sets in we are out', the Candlemas is a kind of gateway between winter and the coming spring.

14 February is Valentine's Day, the festival of lovers this day is celebrated worldwide as the day of love and affection between partners.

February is often the month of carnival. According to the Roman rite, the carnival period begins on the Sunday of Septuagesima, or 70 days before Easter. Carnival this year falls on 5 February and the celebrations continue until 21 February, i.e. Shrove Tuesday, an intermediate stage in the carnival celebrations is Shrove Thursday.

Carnival is a tradition in many regions: there are beautiful carnivals from Venice to Viareggio, from Verona to Cagliari or Saauris, but for me the most beautiful carnival is definitely that of my home town: the famous Historic Ivrea Carnival where a historical episode that occurred during the Middle Ages is relived.

The heroine of the festival is the charming Mugnaia flanked by the General with his officers in tow, the Pifferi e tamburi (Pipes and drums) and the little Abbà. The historic Ivrea carnival is known for its suggestive Battle of the Oranges with its teams of orange throwing carts.

01-04 February: crescent moon

5 February: full moon

6-19 February: moon in waning phase

20 February: new moon

21-28 February: Moon in crescent phase

The segni zodiacali che appartengono al mese di gennaio sono: l’Aquarium (21 January to 19 February). Fishes (20 February to 20 March).

The stone associated with this month is amethyst, a richly coloured and beautiful purple gemstone known for its pristine clarity. It is one of the most beautiful quartz in the world and has been present for thousands of years. Amethyst is a quartz usually found in geodes or hollow rocks of cooled lava.

Regarding world/international days on my animal friends I would like to point out:

17 February

 National Cat Day

27 February

World Polar Bear Day

Polar bears are one of the world's most endangered species and the king of the ice their future is in danger due to loss of sea ice, commercial hunting and pollution.

This animal symbolises the health and well-being of the Arctic ecosystem and its survival is crucial to maintaining the ecological balance.

Before saying goodbye, I post some of my photos and videos dedicated to the Ivrea carnival:

Piazza del Rondolino Diavoli Aranceri (original audio)

Many of you seeing this video will exclaim...

What a waste of food!

But oranges used during carnival, are 'special' oranges which arrive from Calabria and which do not have characteristics suitable for human consumption.

Basically, they are not good to eat. In addition, at the end of the day the Ivrea environmental services company collects oranges from the ground and deposits them in special tanks where, in a few weeks, they will become compost, which is an excellent natural fertiliser for agricultural use.

Historic Ivrea (TO) carnival float (original sound)

Ciao, see you soon!