Welcome to February at the Riviera Guesthouse

Fabulous February here in Whitby!


Here at the Riviera Guesthouse in Whitby, we look forward to February, the shortest month of the year.

Did you know 2024 is a Leap Year?

During February, daylight hours get longer, half term’s approaching, and we gain an extra day to enjoy the prospect of Spring.

The last Leap Year took place in 2020 … and so much has happened since then.

With an early Easter, February is a busy month on the Yorkshire Coast.

Book your break today

February Traditions in Yorkshire

February is festooned with many traditions.

Candlemas takes place on the 2nd February, an important day in the agricultural calendar and also in the Christian religious calendar.

We often forget that Whitby is surrounded by farmland, with hard-working farmers looking after the fields, hedgerows, crops and animals.

In the past it was the day people could store away their candles as the daylight increased.

For farmers, caution is the order of the day,

Tradition advises farmers to still have half of one’s store of animal fodder left by this date: winter can have a sting in its tail!

Gardeners also consider this date to be a planting day for peas, lettuce, sweet peas, onions, beans and cabbages.

Leap Day is also St Oswald’s Day, named after the archbishop of York who dies on 29th February 992.

Yorkshire Pudding Day

This is a new one for us, but apparently here in the UK, Yorkshire Pudding Day is celebrated on 4th February this year.

It takes place on the first Sunday in February.

This tasty tradition was first marked in 2007.

Yorkshire pudding is traditionally served with a roast meat dinner, yet as we know this can be a filling treat at any time of year.

There is a saying: “A pudding isn’t a Yorkshire Pudding if it is less than four inches tall.”

In the Yorkshire village of Brawby, there is a Yorkshire Pudding race, when participants punt downriver in giant floating Yorkshire Puddings … only in Yorkshire, we say!

The basic ingredients as flour, eggs and milk … after that, many foodies will vary on what they consider to be the perfect pud.

Half Term In Whitby


Half term dates vary, with North Yorkshire schools finishing on 9th February for the first half term break of the year.

Shrove Tuesday is an early one this year, taking place on 13th February.

Along the Yorkshire Coast, there are Shrove Tuesday traditions, including skipping along the foreshore in Scarborough once the traditional pancake bell has sounded.

There’s also pancake races taking place up and down the Coast.

February 14th is of course St Valentine’s Day, when you can declare your feelings for the one you love.

Whitby is a romantic place to visit if you’re in the mood for love!

Book your break at the Riviera today.

Leap Year


As 2024  is a Leap Year (and is therefore also an Olympic Year), then we thought we’d take a look at the traditions of this once in four years event.

Did you know that in the Roman Calendar, the 24th February appeared twice?

This, over time was moved to the 29th February.

Yet why do we even have another day in February every four years?

It is to do with the number of hours and minutes that each year contains.

While we count the minutes and hours via the 24-hour clock, there is a shortfall which makes up one day every four years.

Some traditions say that ladies can propose on Leap Year Day, however make sure you wear a red petticoat!

In some countries, Leap Day is also known as Bachelors’ Day.

If a man is proposed to by a woman on Leap Day and refuses, he must pay a penalty (a new gown, money) or, in some nations, 12 pairs of gloves.

This is so the female proposer has a sufficient supply of gloves to hide the fact she’d been turned down.

The evidence – the lack of engagement ring – is hidden thanks to the gloves supplied.

Yorkshire folk consider anything beginning on 29th February will be successful and it’s a good day to begin a long journey … to Whitby, maybe?!

February 29th will also have its fair share of babies born on this day.

Those born on 29th February are called Leaplings, and it’s thought around 4.8 million people across the globe claim a leap day birthday.

February Folklore

In folklore traditions, as the Spring approaches, nature starts to reawaken.

Referred to as Imbolc, as the daylight hours lengthen, we can see buds forming on the trees, and bulbs start to push upwards towards the sunlight.

Imbolc is also considered to be a time for initiation and healing.

Herbs that appear at this time of year include coltsfoot, and the rowan tree has symbolic importance in February, along with the willow.

Snowdrops often make their shy appearance in February, with their spotless white petals giving us all a sense of hope that Spring isn’t too far away.

While the snowdrop isn’t considered to be a native species, it is now synonymous with our British flora and fauna.

Did you know there are over 50 different species of this elegant plant, all with slightly different appearances, shapes and patterns.

Some have fun names, such as Octopussy and Grumpy!

Snowdrop Walks take place throughout Yorkshire, find out more here.

February in Whitby – Steampunk Time!

February is a shorter month, but that doesn’t mean there’s less to do!

The Whitby Steampunk Weekend XV takes place in our town on 10th to 11th February.

The event takes place at the Whitby Pavilion, just a hop, skip and a jump from the Riviera.

Often thought to be one of the larger Steampunk events in the UK, the event is a feast for the senses as we shake off Winter.

It’s a family-friendly event, free entry too, with two halls of vendors, trade stands, entertainment, workshops, displays, demos and talks.

Events Elsewhere in February

The Dark Skies Festival takes place in the North York Moors from 9th to 25th February 2024.

This now much-anticipated event is now in its ninth year.

The North York Moors National Park is only a short drive from us, and is one of only 21 locations to be recognised for pristine dark skies.

Events during the festival include stargazing in Dalby Forest, and a Dark Skies walk in Robin Hood’s Bay.

There is also a Whitby Night Photography Workshop, a Festival of Stars and a Stunning Moon, a Hole of Horcum Dark Skies Walk and more.

Whitby Abbey, one of the most iconic landmarks in the town, is hosting the half term History Maker event at this English Heritage site.

You can also check out our own events listing on our website. 

The Riviera Guesthouse Whitby

A family run, independent guesthouse overlooking the stunning coastline.  We have 15-ensuite bedrooms and our freshly cooked breakfast will set you up for the day!


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