February Meaning & Symbolism
Coming just after January, the month of new beginnings, is February. From the Latin word Februarius, meaning “to purify“, February was known as the “Month of Purification” during ancient Roman times. It is a transitional time, finding itself just after a month of reflection and new year’s resolutions.
By examining some old and popular as well as new and enticing February symbols that are connected to this month, we are able to clearly see the themes of transition and change. These symbols can be broken into a variety of categories, including flowers, trees, and worldly festivals.
February Flowers Symbolism
Although most flowers require warmer temperatures to bloom and thrive, violets are one of the few that survive in cold weather. This flower inspires during a destitute and harsh winter season. Their deep purple petals amidst the cold white snow evoke feelings of hope in the coming spring, the promise of better, happier times.
When the violets come, spring is certainly just around the corner. As such, February is a time to become comfortable with the resolutions and changes you have made while further planning for the future season. During this contemplation, there are several properties of violet flower symbolism that you can focus upon.
For example, this flower was popularly used in ancient ceremonies and festivals in the weaving of crowns, which signified protection from mental ruin. This correlates with the sadness and even depression that people may feel during this cold and dim month.
Additionally, violets were used in folk medicinal practices for protection against bad headaches and to cure hangovers, further connecting this flower to issues of the head. In Hinduism, the Crown (or head) chakra is represented with a violet colored aura.
The primrose is another flower said to have symbolic connections with the month of February. Like the violet, the primrose is one of the first to bloom and indicating the forthcoming of spring. From the Latin primus, meaning “first”, the primrose is a symbol of courage, as it faces the stark, cold conditions of winter in its early phases of life.
Many cultures have used this flower meaning as a sign of beauty, purity, and refinement, including the Norse and Celtic. Thus, the primrose also brings these sentiments to the general symbolism of February. It is perceived as evident of delicate beauty and enriched states of happiness and blissfulness.
Trees Associated With February Month
Like flowers, there are a few trees who share the characteristics of this special month. The Celts in particular were enamored with the mystical nature of trees. In fact, they even had a special language for them, the Ogham. In this language, the Rowan tree was indicative of protection, transition and balance – an appropriate fit for a February symbol.
The Ogham also included the Ash tree, which was a transitional symbol in its own right. By calling upon the messages of this tree during February, you are seeking a clarification for your own personal vision and path.
Festival Symbolism Of February
February Symbolic Meanings: Valentine’s Day
We can also learn about the symbolism of February month by examining the traditional festivals that take place within it. Perhaps the most popular is Valentine’s Day – the holiday of love. Although many may believe that this was a celebration created by the candy companies, there is actually historical significance tied to this day.
Some stories tell the tale of St. Valentine, who was known for administering the sacrament of marriage to military men and their prospective wives, even though it was banned by the emperor. Others associated the day with an ancient Roman festival of fertility and purification known as Lupercalia. Nowadays, most associate the day with sweet chocolates (which happen to be aphrodisiacs) and Cupid. No matter which way you spin it, February is host to a festival of happiness and love.
Festival Of Goddess Fortuna
The ancient Romans also dedicated a festival in February to the Goddess Fortuna, goddess of luck, fortune, and fertility. As Fortuna was believed to control fate, the Romans believed that she required a large amount of praise and worship. As such, the festivals adoring her could last up to weeks long. During this time, people would focus on being mindful of signs in their lives and even fortune-telling.
These are only a few examples of the month of February’s symbolic meanings and association. Whatever speaks to you of transition, love, and hope during difficult times can also be suitable. Remember, there are no rights and wrongs in symbolic interpretation. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.