Your Guide to American Holidays in February

Posted 01 February 2017
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February may be the shortest month of the year but this does not mean it is uneventful. There are national holidays, international celebrations and major sports events in February. As an international student, some of these holidays may be new to you, so here is a break down.

Groundhog Day (February 2)

Groundhog Day is an American holiday that is celebrated yearly on February 2. Groundhog is a small mammal common to North American continent that belongs to the same family as squirrels. It is believed that groundhog can predict the arrival of spring with its behavior. Every February 2nd, people in the US observe the groundhog’s behavior when it awakens from the nap and emerges from its den. If it is cloudy outside and groundhog cannot see its shadow, then the spring season will arrive early. If it is sunny outside and groundhog’s shadow is visible, then winter will continue for another six weeks. Make sure to check out groundhog’s prediction for this year’s spring tomorrow!

Super Bowl (February 5)

Super Bowl is an all-American celebration that is not commonly known to anyone outside of the US. It is a big national sports event that occurs every first Monday of February. During the Super Bowl game the national champion of the football league is decided. This year New England Patriots will play with Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Even if you are not an avid football fan, the game has its appeals. A lot of people who are not sports fans watch the game for its halftime show, usually featuring popular celebrities like Lady Gaga or Beyoncé. Customary, brands spend a lot of money to feature their commercials during the game, as they will be seen by a huge audience. The average cost for 30-second commercial is above $5 million!

Valentine’s Day (February 14)

You may be well familiar with this holiday as it is celebrated every February 14th around the world. One of the most popular beliefs around this holiday is a story about a saint in Rome called Valentine or Valentinus. He was imprisoned for performing secret wedding ceremonies, but before he was executed he healed the daughter of his jailer. He wrote her a letter signed ‘Your Valentine’, which marked the start of the tradition to send each other heart-shaped cards on this day. In America, Valentine’s Day is a popular holiday among couples. Traditional gifts include Valentine’s cards, heart-shaped chocolates and flowers.

President’s Day (February 20)

President’s Day is a federal holiday that occurs on the third Monday every February. This day is set aside to honor all of the past presidents of the United States. Two of the most well-known US presidents were born close to this date – Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12th, and George Washington was born on February 22nd. Originally, only the birthday of George Washington was celebrated as a federal holiday. However, after the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill went into the effect in 1971, President’s Day became the commonly used name for this holiday. President’s Day marks the last federal holiday of the winter season because the following one, Memorial Day, is more than three months away.

Hopefully you are a lot more familiar with these holidays now and will make use of them. Enjoy February!