For such a short month, February is packed full of special observances and holidays. It started on February 1 with National Freedom Day celebrating the release of slaves. Abraham Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery on February 1, 1865 and in 1948 Harry Truman proclaimed February 1 as National Freedom Day. Then we moved on to February 2 with the most useful holiday of the year, Groundhog Day. (We understand there was supposed to be a football game on that day also but only one team showed up. And for that they wouldn’t let the NHL schedule any hockey games. Go figure!) Add Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day and you would think for a month with only 28 days those few events would be plenty. But no, February has to be an over achiever.
There is no way we can list all the February observances. A cursory search of the Internet revealed 382 special days, weeks, and months starting on Feb. 1 with Freedom Day and not stopping until you get to National Tooth Fairy Day on Feb. 28. Some are well known and widely celebrated. February has traditionally been Black History Month and now that you know the origin of Freedom Day it makes sense. With Valentine’s Day stuck right in the middle of it, February is a natural to host American Heart Month.
But even to a couple of confirmed quirks like us, we are confused by some of the observances. For example, although the entire month celebrates National Hot Breakfast Month (and buried within is Pride in Food Service Week), the first Saturday of February each year is set aside as Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. Not to be outdone by the heart, February also covers other illnesses and maladies including among others National Cancer Day, Week, and Month (all three!), HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Toothache Day, Low Vision Month, and World Day of the Sick.
There are happy celebrations also. Take a Child to a Library Day, Laugh and Get Rich Day, and Give Kids a Smile Day are just a few. And don’t leave out the pets. Every week has several animal related observances and some time during every February you will be able to watch the Westminster Dog Show.
We’re wondering if they’ve gone too far. With so many observances will people find themselves waiting for their special day/week/month and lose the meaning of the really important days? Of course, every day is important to somebody. To us, the most important day is the one you’re living today. Not to say that Curling is Cool Day isn’t cool. It just isn’t as cool as making it from morning to night with a good plan of doing it again tomorrow.
Now, that’s what we think. Really. How ‘bout you?