So who is the God of February?

February 1, 2002

Answers pure and simple

Ever wondered why is February called February? We have the answer!

It’s named after FEBRUUS, the Roman God of Purification. He lives in the Underworld – which probably needs purifying rather a lot, judging by the rumors we’ve heard.

He originally belonged to the Sabine people of the Apennines but was borrowed by the conquering Romans who were looking for a decent purifying God to help with the spring cleaning. To get on his good side they held an annual festival called Februalia in his honour. This was so popular they named the second month after it.

FEBRUUS was later promoted to King of the Underworld and changed his name to PLUTO, but no-one got around to changing the name of the month. Which is just as well as Plutoary sounds a bit weird.

So now you know. We can’t help wondering if FEBRUUS feels a bit short-changed at being in charge of the shortest month. Perhaps leap years are his way of grabbing a little extra…