February is another month with a bad reputation for being grey, freezing and bleak but like January there are actually loads of good things about this month.
So I’ve done a bit of research and grouped what I've found into three sections, the first is “things to love about February”, second is "important or unusual dates in February" and then third is "things to do or take part in during February". I’ve also added a section on things that I’m loving this month.
February Calendar Sheet Flat lay by Daffodowndilly - photo by Becky Woolley C2022
Things to love about February
- On the 1st February the sun rises at 8:06am and sets at 16:56pm but by the end of the month the sun will rise an hour earlier at 7:08am and set at 17:52pm.
- The snowdrops start to be joined by crocuses and primroses this month, creating beautiful carpets of colour later in the month.
Snowdrop gift notes by Daffodowndilly
- Sunset gets to around 5.30 in the afternoon so it feels much lighter and the afternoons longer.
- As well as Black History Month, Valentine’s Day and Lunar New Year, there are some other brilliant celebration days in February such as World Radio Day, World Hippo Day, Random Act of Kindness Day and World Pangolin Day.
- Long Tailed Tits start to gather nesting material, the making of the nest takes up to 3 weeks with both birds helping with the construction. The nest is intricately crafted using moss, lichen and their own down feathers, this is all bound together with spider silk.
- By the end of the month grey squirrels can be looking after their first kits of the year.
- If you really can’t wait for Spring to start then February is the last month of Winter and it is also the shortest of all the months, even though 2024 is a leap year!
Snowdrops in Shrewsbury - photo by Becky Woolley C2021
Important or unusual dates in February
1st February - Imbolc and St Brigid's Day
- 1st February - Optimist Day (Optimism Day) - Originating in Croatia, this day is a chance to spend some time focussing on the positives of life.
2nd February - Candlemas Day - The traditional weather forecasting rhyme for this day says:
"If Candlemas Day be fair and bright, Winter will have another fight. If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain, Winter won't come again.
4th February - National Yorkshire Pudding Day - Need I say more!
5th February - National Primrose Day - A day to celebrate one of the most beautiful of our Spring flowers. The name Primrose originates from the Latin prima rose meaning first rose. An apt name for one of the first flowers that we see in early Spring.
7th February - Isra' and Mi'raj
10th February - Lunar New Year, 2024 is the year of the Wood Dragon which is the fifth animal in the Chinese zodiac. Many cities and towns in the UK usually hold parades and celebrations you can go and watch.
12th February - National Latte Day - An excellent excuse to indulge in a delicious latte in your favourite coffee shop. Lattes originated in Italy in the 17th century as a Cafe Latte, meaning coffee with milk and they are now one of the top coffee choices ordered in the UK alongside cappuccinos.
13th February - World Radio Day - Each year UNESCO chooses a theme for World Radio Day, for 2024 it is “A century informing, entertaining and educating”. If like me you love listening to the radio then you could get involved by listening to the special programmes commissioned for the event on various radio stations (visit the UNESCO website to see the schedule, I will put a link in the useful links section at the bottom of the page) or just have an extra dance along to the music from your favourite station.
12th February - Darwin Day - the 12th of February is Charles Darwin's birthday and the Darwin Day was created to celebrate not just Charles Darwin's achievements but also those of other scientists around the world.
12th - 18th February - Random Acts of Kindness Week
13th February - Pancake Day/Shrove Tuesday - What is your favourite pancake topping? A simple lemon and sugar, savoury or perhaps chocolate and banana?
- 13th February - Galentine's Day - A lovely chance to celebrate the brilliance of female friendship.
14th February - Valentine’s Day
15th February - World Hippo Day
17th February - Random Act of Kindness Day
- 17th February - World Pangolin Day
24th February - The full moon - The full moon in February is sometimes called a Snow Moon. So called because traditionally this is when a lot of snow falls in the Northern Hemisphere. However in Britain and Ireland the full moon in February is more commonly known as the Lenten Moon or the hunger moon because the brightness of the moon made hunting more difficult.
29th February - 2024 is a leap year - Our four year treat of an extra day in February.
- The third week of February is National Nestbox Week.
Grey Squirrel by Daffodowndilly Becky Woolley cJanuary 2024
Things to do or take part in during February
- Put up a nest box - The RSPB says February is a brilliant month to put a bird box up on your house or in your garden as Bluetits will already be starting to investigate potential nesting sites.
- February is apparently also a good month to see deer feeding in the open as the hedges are still bare but the nights and mornings are lighter. So head for a rural walk in the early morning or dusk and you might get lucky.
- Single or not, why not use Valentine’s and Galantine's Day as chances to send cards to your friends letting them know all the reasons they are brilliant.
- The snowdrops and crocus come into their own this month so it’s a perfect chance to go on a snowdrop walk - whether organised or not. Primroses will also start to make an appearance later in the Month.
- Random Act of Kindness Day - There are loads of things you could do to celebrate this lovely day. Some examples might be to write a letter or send a little gift to a friend and spread a bit of sunshine, ask at your local coffee shop if you can pay for a hot drink to be put on a tab for someone who can’t afford one or leave a nice message or review for a local business you love.
- Take part in the Woodland Trust’s citizen science project of helping to track the effects of climate change and weather on the wildlife near you. You simply record when you see or hear certain plant oir animal species and upload your data to the Woodland Trust website. https://naturescalendar.woodlandtrust.org.uk/
Things I’m loving this month
- The Snowdrop Evening Walks at Attingham Park in Atcham, Shropshire from the 15th February to the 17th February. The glorious display of snowdrops at Attingham park is enhanced further by hundreds of fairy lights and gentle floodlighting in the woodlands. Then stunning light projections of snowdrops in the Walled Garden by Wild Strawberry Interactive Multimedia. This was a real highlight for me last February and I’m looking forward to going this year too. The lights will be turned on at 5.30pm with last entry at 6.45pm before the park closes at 7.30pm.
- Pancake Day - I love pancakes so I always look forward to this day, my favourite fillings are a simple lemon and sugar or banana and chocolate.
Useful Links and sources:
UNESCO World Radio Day - https://www.unesco.org/en/days/world-radio/radio-next-century
Royal Museums Greenwich - What you can see in the skies in 2024 - https://www.rmg.co.uk/stories/topics/space-astronomy-highlights-2024
Days of the Year - a website where you can see all the weird and unusual national days as well as the more recognisable ones - https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/feb/
International Darwin Day - https://darwinday.org/
The Almanac - A seasonal guide to 2024 by Lia Leendertz (book)
The Tree Almanac by Gabriel Hemery (Book) - https://gabrielhemery.com/portfolio/tree-almanac/
Attingham Park Snowdrop Walks - https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/shropshire-staffordshire/attingham-park/events/ea34477d-14ea-4539-9b35-d4997c51f9ec
British Wildlife in February - Discover Wildlife - https://www.discoverwildlife.com/how-to/watch-wildlife/british-wildlife-in-february