At the start of February, it’s still winter and there’s still a chance of snow, but by the end of the month, there are signs of spring. The days are noticeably longer and it doesn’t get dark until 5 o’clock or later. There are flowers in the garden, such as snowdrops, crocuses and early daffodils.
There are usually only 28 days in February but once every four years, there are 29 days. This is because it doesn’t take exactly 365 days for the earth to travel round the sun so we have to add an extra day to keep the calendar in sync. A year with an extra day is called a leap year. Traditionally, February 29th is the only day when a woman can ask a man to marry her, rather than the other way around.
February 14th in Valentine’s Day. This is a day for romance! People buy cards and gifts for their girlfriend, boyfriend or spouse. You can buy any kind of gift you like but the more thoughtful the better. The most common gifts for women are probably chocolates, flowers and jewellery. I think men are more difficult to buy for! Sometimes young children make a card for their parents but otherwise, it’s mostly a day for lovers, unlike in America, where people give cards to friends as well. It’s common to have a romantic dinner in a restaurant or at home. Some people love this day while others think it has become too commercialised. It can be a depressing day if you’re single!
Pancake Day, also known as Shrove Tuesday, usually falls in February, although it can sometimes be in March. It’s always 47 days before Easter Sunday and the date of Easter depends on the moon. These 47 days used to be a time for praying and not eating the more luxurious types of food. The idea was to use up all of these foods by making pancakes. Nowadays, people make pancakes just for fun. In England, pancakes are thin, like French crepes, and the most popular topping is lemon juice and sugar, although some people prefer chocolate spread, jam or fruit. In some places, there are pancake races. People have to run with a frying pan, tossing the pancake in the air as they go without dropping it!
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