Tuesday, 25 February 2020

February 2020 - Leaping Ahead

February is the shortest month of the year and the only month with fewer than 30 days. It has 28 days in a normal year and 29 in a Leap Year. This is to keep the calendar year synchronised with the astronomical year because seasons and astronomical events do not repeat in a whole number of days. By inserting an additional day into the year, the anomaly can be corrected. Having only 28 days, February can sometimes pass without having any Full Moon. This last happened in 2018. 

February is a fascinating month. It was named Februarius by the Romans, from the Latin word for purification - februum - and they held a purification ritual named Februa on the 15th day of the month. January and February were the last two months to be added to the Roman calendar, circa 713 BC. At that time, each year officially began in March and there were only 10 months. Adding January and February increased it to twelve. I actually think the Romans had the right idea beginning the new year in spring, and of course, this coincided with the first sign of the Zodiac - Aries. The Spring Equinox is still considered by astrologers to be the 'Astrological New Year'. February remained the last month of the calendar year until circa 450 BC when the start of the year was moved to January.

As an astrologer, I'm often asked how being born on 29th February affects someone's chart. It doesn't actually make a lot of difference. The Sun on the 28th February is positioned at approximately 8° Pisces and the following day on 1st March it is 9° Pisces. In a year when the 29th is the final day of February, the Sun is at 9° Pisces and on the 1st March it's 10° Pisces. This change in astrological degree continues for about two years then gradually returns to its original position before jumping forward again at the next Leap Year. 

I'm also often asked another question by people who were born on 29th February: "When should I celebrate my birthday? Every four years, 28th February, or 1st March?" Some people think, for accuracy, they should only have a birthday every four years. I disagree. Technically, you were born on the last day of the month, so keep it simple and celebrate your birthday on the 28th February. 


  1. I love it when you give us this kind of info. Great post.

  2. Now it makes sense why February is the month with all the adjustments. It's because it used to be the last month of the year. Nice article, Sue.

  3. Isn't it funny how the calendar has been changed so many times throughout history. Imagine if that happened now, everyone would go into meltdown. There would be protesters marching through the streets, having online petitions lol.

    1. All hell would break loose lol.It's bad enough when the clocks go back or forward in March and October.