February 23, 2017
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The Old Farmer's Almanac For Kids
February 2017
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THIS WEEK

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CELEBRATIONS
THIS MONTH

February 2

Groundhog Day

The focus on this day is forecasting of either an early spring or a lingering winter. Many years ago a bear brought the forecast to the people of France and England, while those in Germany looked to a badger for a sign. In the 1800s, German immigrants to Pennsylvania brought their legends with them. Finding no badgers but lots of groundhogs, or woodchucks, there, they adapted it to fit the lore. Today that lore has grown into a full-blown festival, with Punxsutawney Phil presiding. If the groundhog sees his shadow today, winter will return.

February 28

Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday

Mardi Gras is French for "fat Tuesday" -- the final feasting before the fasting of Lent, which begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday. In many Latin countries, Mardi Gras is the culmination of the carnival season of revelry and feasting. Among the Pennsylvania Dutch, this day is Fasnach (fast night), and everyone enjoys the traditional fasnachtkuchen, a rectangular doughnut with a slit in the middle.

MANUFACTURER
BIRTHDAYS

John Deere (farm equipment)
February 7, 1804

Henry E. Steinway (pianos)
February 15, 1797

Levi Strauss (jeans)
February 26, 1829

QUESTION OF THE DAY

Where did we get the practice of shaking hands?

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February

From the Latin word februa, "to cleanse." The Roman Februalia was a month of purification.

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