It's a weird confluence of days this weekend. It is the Chinese New Year on the 12th, today. It is Valentine's Day on the 14th. And it is Presidents' Day on the 15th. Cadence is off for that last one (in the US), and, as is traditional the day before a break, I write about something off-topic. So let's just go for all the holidays: Lunar New Year, Valentine's, and Presidents' Day.
Some of these days move around from year to year. Of course, Valentine's Day is 14th February every year. It's the saint day for St Valentine, although who was he, and why is he associated with love? He was a bishop in the Roman Empire who worked with early Christians. He was killed and his body burned on 14th February in the North of Rome, and that day has been observed as the Feast of St Valentine since 496AD.
Chinese New Year is tied to the lunar calendar and so it moves depending on the phases of the moon (as does Easter). Normally it is on the second new moon after the winter solstice, but like most lunar calendars, it has to have a scheme for occasional correction so that New Year stays somewhere in early winter. Every few years an extra month is inserted. This contrasts to the Islamic calendar, for example, which does not, so events like Ramadan are not tied to the seasons.
Of course, Presidents' Day is tied to the birthday of Washington, which is February 11th on the Julian calendar used when he was born, or February 22nd on the current Gregorian calendar. For more on that, see my post Doomsday in 1900 Was a Wednesday. Later, Lincoln was added, since his birthday was conveniently close on February 12th. Presidents' Day is now the 3rd Monday of February. Next Monday.
I'm taking a few days off, so Breakfast Bytes will be dark all week, returning on February 22nd...which is Washington's actual birthday.
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