CBC Kids | Play Games, Watch Video, Explore

Video Why February is the shortest month Image by Pixabay Have you ever wondered why February is the shortest month of the year? If you look at your calendar, you will notice that February has only 28 days while other months have 30 or 31 days.

When was the calendar invented?

Ancient Roman Calendar Believe it or not, the calendar we know today is actually based on the ancient Roman calendar. It was invented in the 8th century BC by a king named Numa Pompilius. Back then, Rome was a burgeoning civilization and on the verge of great invention! On the left is an image of King Numa Pompilius, emperor of Rome. Numa Pompilius / Digital Collections, New York Public Library / New York Public Library, Astor Foundation, Lennox and Tilden Read more: Why is my nespresso flashing orange What’s with Leap Day? Read about February 29th – a date that only comes about once every four years

Is it true that there is another calendar?

Barley field An image of the Roman calendar was found in the ruins of Nero’s villa at Antium. If you look closely, you can see the months listed along the top of the picture. Image licensed to Public Domain via Wikimedia It is rumored that the reason why February is the shortest month of the year is because another king named Augustus Caesar stole a day from February to add the month to his name. – August. However, the real reason February is shorter starts with the fact that the first calendar is only 10 months long. That’s right!

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Why is the calendar only 10 months long?

January and February Calendar A field of barley – a favorite crop of ancient Rome. michieru’s photo is licensed CC BY 2.0 Farming was a big deal in ancient Rome. Roman farmers harvested wheat, wheat, and barley, essentially all the ingredients to make their favorite food, bread! Farming was so important to the Romans that King Pompilius didn’t even bother to name the time between harvests. The calendar year begins in March and ends in December. Everything else is just called winter! A variety of colorful numbers - big and small A working program with pages opened in January and February. Image provided by PixabayRead more: why do I keep thinking about him | Top Q&A However, with the calendar being only 10 months long, it started to get out of sync with the Lunar Calendar, which keeps track of the phases of the moon. The lunar calendar has 355 days in the year and 12 lunar cycles (or months) while the Roman calendar has only 10. Are you confused? So do the Romans! They don’t know whether to follow the 12-month lunar calendar or the new 10-month calendar invented by King Pompilius! To solve this problem, the king added two more months after December and called them January and February.

So that’s it? Have the problems been resolved?

CBC Kids |  Play games, watch videos, explore This is a bunch of random, colorful numbers. Jurgen Appelo’s photo is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Yes, not really. This caused more problems because the ancient Romans considered even numbers (2,4,6,8, etc.) to be unlucky! Because of this, King Pompilius came up with months that were either 29 or 31 days long, but the math still wouldn’t add up to match the Lunar Calendar. A month has to be an even number so the unlucky February pulled the unlucky straw with 28 days! Maybe just because it’s the last month of the year. Yes, you read that right! In those days, the time to start the new year was March 1, not January 1 as it is now. Much later, Julius Caesar rearranged the calendar again, finally giving it the 365 days we know today, and the rest is history! February still maintains its short length, but with all the great things happening in February, like Valentine’s Day and Family Day, what a blessing! How are the days of the week named? Learn about! Read more: Why dogs have trouble mating

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