Although February is the shortest month of the year, it is packed with holidays, sporting events, and history. The month kicks off with Super Bowl XLII in Phoenix, AZ on February 3rd. The fight for the Super Bowl championship will be between the undefeated New England Patriots and the New York Giants.
In other sporting news, February 17, 2008 marks the 50th anniversary of the Daytona 500, the first official race of the NASCAR season. Hosted by the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, FL, the Daytona 500 offers the largest payout of prize money outweighing the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400. Besides money, winning the Daytona 500 offers prestige and fame to the winning driver. Derrick Cope, 1990 Daytona winner, compared winning the race to winning the Super Bowl when he said, “When you say you have a Daytona 500 win, that’s like saying you have a Super Bowl ring.”
This month also features the 80th anniversary of the Academy Awards ceremonies. Besides being an anniversary year, this year could be remembered as the year the live award ceremony was boycotted if the Writer’s Guild of America writer’s strike is not settled in time. Scheduled to take place on February 24 at the Kodak Theatre, the ceremonies will be hosted by Jon Stewart and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The following films have been nominated for Best Picture 2007: Atonement, Juno, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men, and There Will Be Blood.
Major holidays occurring in February include Valentine’s Day, February 14, and President’s Day, February 18. Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) takes place 46 days before Easter and falls on February 5.
The Chinese New Year, the longest and most significant celebration in the Chinese culture, begins on February 7, 2008. This year is known as the Year of the Rat. The rat is the first animal appearing in the 12-year cycle of animals of the Chinese zodiac. People who are born in rat years are considered charming, passionate, practical, and hardworking. Well-known celebrities born in the year of the rat are Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck, and Samuel L. Jackson. Historical figures born in rat years were William Shakespeare and Mozart.
Month long events occurring in February include Black History Month, American Heart Month, and National Children’s Dental Health Month. Famous African Americans born in February include Langston Hughes, Hank Aaron, and Malcolm X.
The American Heart Association has reason to celebrate during American Heart Month since they have already achieved the goal they set for 2010 which was to decrease
deaths caused by coronary heart disease by 25 percent. The organization continues to work on reducing risk factors such as physical inactivity, obesity, and diabetes.
Additional Resources for the month of February: