One afternoon, while driving in the car, Colton asked, “Dad, why does February only have twenty-eight days?”
“That’s a very good question,” replied Colton’s dad.
“Bruce,” warned Dana, his wife.
“What?” asked Bruce. “Inquiring minds want to know.”
“Uh huh,” said Dana.
“So, why is it?” asked Colton.
Bruce took a deep breath. “Have you ever heard of the Februarians?”
“I’m not surprised. They were an obscure religious sect during Roman times. For the most part, they’re lost to history, but we do know a few things about them,” explained Bruce.
“Like what?” asked Colton. His eyes were wide and he leaned forward to hear his dad.
“Well, the number seven was particularly sacred, that’s why February has twenty-eight days. It’s a multiple of seven.”
“That makes sense,” said Colton.
“Oh brother,” grumbled Dana.
“Wait. What about leap years?” asked Colton.
“The Romans did that as an insult to their faith after they fell out of favour with the wider Roman society. The Februarians ended up being hated in Rome,” said Bruce.
“If that’s true, then how did they get a month named after them?”
“That’s really interesting, actually. The most famous Februarian was their founder, Valentinus. Another one of their beliefs was divine romance. Valentinus preached all over Rome and the people went crazy for it, especially the special day the Februarians devoted to love. The Romans adopted it and named the day in honour of Valentinus. Valentine’s Day,” explained Bruce.
“That’s where it came from,” said Colton.
“Come on,” scoffed Dana.
“That’s complete balderdash. Your dad made all that up,” she said.
“Dad?” asked Colton.
Bruce sighed. “I did.”
“So, what’s the truth?” asked Colton.
“I could explain it, but it’s a lot more complicated and not nearly as interesting,” warned Bruce.
“How complicated?” asked Colton.
“Really, really,” said Bruce.
Colton thought for a second, then shrugged. “That’s okay. I like your version better anyway.”
Dana stared out the car window. “And the truth dies just a little bit more,” she sighed.