Valentine’s Day is not the only celebration in February. This is a month of interesting, imporant, fun and quirky celebrations. Here’s a celebration calendar – even for those allergic to cupid.
Month long celebrations
February is Black History Month, when we celebate the contributions of a black Canadians past and present. You can celebrate by learning about Viola Desmond, Canada’s Rosa Parks. Or, take a moment to read about the history of Africville and the legacy of black Canadians.
Maybe it’s the lousy weather or all those valentines addressed to someone else, but February seems to be the logical choice for International Boost Self-Esteem Month. Participation doesn’t require any special equipment – just make a conscious effort to feel good about yourself. For more tips on how to participate, visit the National Association for Self-Esteem.
Party the winter blues away
Winnipeg Manitoba celebrates the Franco-Manitoban community’s joie de vivre with the Festival du Voyageur. This is a month long celebration of shows, music, dances, film festivals and food centering on Voyageur Park. It’s a fun way to get through the winter.
Ottawa’s Winterlude got underway in January and continues through until Feb 17. This is the time of year to come skate on the Rideau Canal, see the ice sculptures in Confederation Park and enjoy some hot chocolate in Jacques-Cartier Park. It’s a fun, family event.
The granddaddy of all winter celebrations has got to be the Québec Winter Carnival. It’s one giant party from January 31 until Feb 16 when the whole town let’s loose to fight the winter blues. There are parades, crazy canoe races, fireworks, plays, music, eating, drinking and playing the streets. It’s one winter party not to be missed.
American celebrate Lincoln’s birthday on Feb 12 and is a legal holiday is some states. It’s also Darwin Day, a global celebration of science and reason held on the birthday of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin. The ‘Bake up an evolution’ cake contest at Vancouver’s Beaty Biodiversity Museum and the Darwin Movie Night in Fredericton, New Brunswick are just a few of the events in Canada.
In Mexico, Valentine’s Day is celebrated as Día del amor y la amistad, which means the day of love and friendship. So singles, go ahead and celebrate Mexican style – send valentines to all your friends and have a party celebrating them. It’s also International Condom Day, promoting safe sex throughout the world. (In Canada, it’s called Sexual and Reproductive Health Day – yawn). Certain countries feel one day is not enough so February has become National Condom month.
You don’t have to be American to appreciate Susan B Anthony Day. Every woman needs to honour the USA’s most prominent female civil rights leaders. It’s also National Gumdrop Day, the candy of our youth, handed out by grandparents who didn’t give a hoot about cavities.Popular myth says Percy Trusdale invented the gumdrop in 1801. Gumdrops remain one of the building blocks for all gingerbread homes.
In Hawaii, Feb 15 is World Whale Day celebrating the thousands of humpback whales that migrate to Maui each winter to mate and give birth. There are parades, musical concerts, cultural festivities, story telling and, of course, whale watching. The Pacific Whale Foundation has even arranged for live streaming of the event for those of us stuck on the mainland.
This is a day to celebrate presidents, rebels and family. Washington’s Birthday, also known as Presidents’ Day, is a federal holiday in the USA. This year, Manitoba celebrates Louis Riel Day on Feb 17 (it’s the third Monday in February) and commemorates the hero of the Métis. It’s also the mid-point of Manitoba’s Festival du Voyageur. In Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario, this is also Family Day, a statutory holiday (BC celebrates family day a week earlier). So get out and have fun with the kids.
Let’s pay homage to one of the best cocktails out there. Feb 22 is National Margarita Day so get out the tequila, lime and salt.
Bake cupcakes, raise funds and save animals’ lives for National Cupcake Day. This event is held by Canadian SPCAs & Humane Societies to raise funds for all those animals that need shelter and to find a home.
International Polar Bear Day takes place on February 27th. Participate by turning down your thermostat, reducing your carbon footprint, donate to your favourite eco-group and write a letter asking your favourite politician what they intend to do about climate change. Finish off the day with a bowl of chili as this is also National Chili Day. This fiery fare is a great winter dish.
It’s National Tooth Fairy Day! The legend of the fairy who collects children’s teeth has it roots in Viking mythology, and they believed baby teeth gave them power in battle. Today, the Tooth Fairy legend is popular around the world with children waking up to find a shiny coin in place of their teeth. She’s a hard working gal so deserves some recognition.
How are your celebrating February? Let us know about your favourite February day.