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The “lame” February.

February is standing almost on the threshold. And it is the shortest month of the year, with usually only 28 days.
Even though, every fourth year it has 29 days, which in many cultures (like in Greek ) is considered to bring bad luck. And as all the things (especially the exceptional), it has a special name: “Disektos”.

But why February has only 28 days instead of 30 or 31? For sure there is a realistic explanation, but the folk myth insists in a different version …!

Why February has only 28 days?

The folk myth

According to a myth, January, February and March once harvested their vines. But the year was bad and the wine little. So, as there was no better solution, they decided to put their wine in a common barrel and to take it from there when they wanted to drink.
Everyone put their own faucet and all of them laughed with February who put his own lower than the others. They were mocking him saying that he’ s going to drink the dregs but what they ignored is that he had his purpose…

From that moment, February visited the barrel every day and he drank as much wine as he liked. This way, soon he had drunk not only his own part but also his brothers’. And, when they visited the barrel, they found it empty. Of course, they didn’t wonder what happened because the drunk February, who was sleeping next to it, was the best evidence.

They got angry and they shouted but they could ‘t change the result. What they could do (and they did) was to punish him!
The punishment they chose was to take from him (as the myth says) one day each. This way they became longer with 31 days, instead of 30, and February stayed with 28.
And from then on, they call him Koutsoflevaro (= lame February) and they never miss a chance to tease him.

But there are more options about that ….

                                      © Lato,
Het Griekse Taal– & CultuurCentrum van Amsterdam

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