!FEBRUARY February is the second month of the year in Gregorian calendar. It has 28 days except in leap years when it becomes a month of 29 days. This month was added along with January by Numa to the end of the original Roman year of 10 months. It derived its name from a festival offered annually on the 15th day to Februus, an ancient Italian god of the nether world. It was assigned its present position in the calendar by Julius Cæsar, who also introduced the intercalary day for leap-year. In ancient days this month had always 29 days, but the Roman Senate took one away and gave it to August, so that August would not be inferior to July. There are many legends as to how this month came to be known as February. One of the story tells us about a religious ceremony in ancient Rome in which women were beaten (smart and curative slaps) for barrenness. Two selected youths were selected to play as slappers with thongs made of the skins of sacrificed goats. Those thongs were called februa, and no barren woman would remain barren after they were struck with this thong, an instrument of purification. It was a mid month ceremony, and from this februa, this month is said to have derived its name. Another story just adds to it. This thong was said to have come from Juno, whose epithet as the goddess of fertility was Februaria.
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