Chinese New Year falls on February 1st. Traditional Chinese families gather together to share feasts and enjoy the company of relatives and friends. Chinese New Year ends with a celebration called the Lantern Festival on the fifteenth day of the month.
Groundhog Day is February 2nd. The famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, will once again predict the arrival of spring from his home in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. If Phil sees his shadow, the custom says there will six more weeks of winter; if he doesn't see his shadow, an early spring is said to be on the way.
Valentine's Day falls on February 14th, and secret admirers have an annual opportunity to make their feelings known, while those already in relationships have a great chance to rekindle some warm feelings by exchanging cards, flowers, candy, gifts and more.
On February 1st, NASA's space shuttle Columbia breaks up and disintegrates during its reentry to the Earth's atmosphere. All seven crew members perish in the tragedy: Rick D. Husband, William C. McCool, Michael P. Anderson, David M. Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark and the first Israeli astronaut, Ilan Ramon. It's believed that a portion of the craft's insulation was lost during the launch and subsequent damage to the shuttle's wing allowed hot gasses to breach the integrity of the hull upon reentry. The date falls within 72 hours of two other space tragedies: January 28, 1986, when Challenger exploded within minutes after lift off, and January 27, 1967, when a fire aboard Apollo 1 took the lives of all three astronauts on the mission.
A new recording of Osama bin Laden is released by Al Jazerra television on February 11th. Bin Laden warns of future attacks on the US, and the Bush administration claims the recording is evidence for a connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq.
On February 15th, millions gather across the globe to protest the US attack on Iraq. Protesters gather in cities across the United States as well as Paris, Melbourne, London, Seoul and more.
The Grammy Awards are held on February 23rd at New York's Madison Square Garden. Norah Jones sweeps the top awards, including best song, best album, best record, best female vocal and best new artist. John Mayer wins best male pop vocal for "Body is a Wonderland." Sheryl Crow wins for best female rock vocal, and Bruce Springsteen takes best male rock vocal. Dixie Chicks win best country album for their "Home" release.
NASA: Columbia - Official site from NASA offers a wealth of details and multimedia in tribute of the fallen members of the tragic shuttle mission.
Grammy.com - Official home of the popular music awards includes information about past presentations and current ceremonies.