Short month/long history
February comes from februa, the Roman festival of purification, which was held on the 15th of the month.
According to Wikipedia, February was the last month of the year until 450 BC when it gained its current ranking as the second. Prior to 450 BC, Mars was the official start of the year, which is why September, at first the seventh month and now the ninth, gained its name. (Septem in Latin meant seven.)
Februar by Leandro Bassano, courtesy of Wikipedia