'Runt Month' February Gets No Respect

Philip Hill offers a way to fix the problem: change the calendar
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2011 12:43 PM CST
'Runt Month' February Gets No Respect
February needs fixing.   (Shutterstock)

February has consistently gotten the short shrift among calendar months: It was among the last months to be invented, in 700 BC, its mere 28 days sandwiched between months named for powerful gods—while it "commemorates a pagan fertility and purification festival celebrated by flogging women with animal skins," writes Phillip Hall for the New York Times. Since then, world leaders have edited the calendar a number of times, yet poor February has remained “the runt month.” It’s time to fix that.

Hill, himself born on Feb. 28, proposes dropping the last day from January and from March and adding them to February, giving 30 days to each month (except on leap years, when February would have 31). Unlike previous attempts to rearrange the calendar, this won’t cause riots: It won’t “add or subtract a single day from the calendar year,” nor force “troublesome rejuggling of holidays.” Those born on the dropped days (.5% of the population, estimates Hill) can pick a new birthday—perhaps getting “a prettier birthstone"—but wouldn't get stuck with a new astrological sign. As for those born on the new leap day of Feb. 31? "They are not yet around to object." (More calendars stories.)

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