By: Veronica Leighton
February is the shortest month in the Gregorian calendar, (it’s down to only 28 days (except 29 days on Leap Year that happens every four years) versus the normal 30 and 31 days for the rest of 11 months, and yet, it’s brim-filled with holidays, celebrations, and other important events.
Of course, as Filipinos are considered the most loving group of people and known as “the lovers” in our part of the world due to our Latin ancestry, we give so much importance to St. Valentine’s Day or Love Day, which is celebrated every February 14 th. Many VT columnists, including our Editorialist, have a word or two in giving Valentine’s day a special mention in this issue. Veronica’s Vibes column on page 5 features four popular loving couples in our community whose love stories (in short narratives) are so fun to read.
Presidents Day follows the Valentine’s Day on February 15 th in 2021 (celebrated every third Monday in February as a federal holiday so federal offices, including banks are closed). This is our chance to look back and thank past (deceased) Presidents for the work they did for the American people, even though the recently-concluded 2020 presidential election has been characterized as messy and chaotic.
“Gong Xi Fa Cha” is translated as Happy Chinese Lunar New Year! Chinese Lunar New Year observes the Year of the Metal Ox in 2021 starting from February 12th January 31, 2022. In Chinese horoscope, it’s saying that people born under the sign of the ox have an “honest nature and are known for diligence, dependability, strength, and determination.” Metal Ox (1961, 2021) characteristics are hardworking, active, always busy, and popular among friends.
February also marks the start of Black History Month to celebrate the contributions that the African Americans have made to this country and a time to reflect on the continued struggle for racial justice. It has become one of the most celebrated cultural heritage months on the calendar, just like our celebration of Filipino American History Month every October, and Asian American History in May, as well. And so, there is also the Mardi Gras, also known as “Fat Tuesday.” New Orleans is known for its huge local celebration through its wild parades before, during, and after the celebration, and many Mardi Gras-themed party celebrations are popular all over. Mardi Gras is always celebrated on the Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday. The name arose from the tradition of eating one last fatty indulgent meal before the beginning of the Lenten season on Ash Wednesday.
There you go! February is a short month, but celebrations are just endless. There are some minor ones that we have to skip mentioning due to space limitations. Anyhow, enjoy the rest of your fun-filled February, though here in snowy and still locked-down Chicago, we’re still smiling and bearing it all through too-much snowfalls. So, don’t miss Objectively Harsh columnist Joe Mauricio’s “Let it Snow, Let It Snow” column on page 22.
On a sad note (but ending up happy), we experienced a Covid scare close to home for the first time, so we thought of bringing to you the story of our “A Covid Survivor” in our cover. Your favorite Health Matters beauteous columnist Melody Rabor-Dizon, on pages 20-21, tells us personally about her scary bouts with the dreadful Covid.
Enjoy, as usual, reading your favorite columnists’ stories on this wonderful month of February. See you in March!##