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The Colours of February | Anita Pounder

31st January 2024 Estimated reading time: 3 mins

There does not seem to be any official fixed colours for each month, but there are colours which are commonly associated with certain months from birthstones, seasons, cultural traditions, events or just colour which the month evokes emotionally. Here is my interpretation of the colours of February.

February is an interesting month for several reasons; it is the only month having less than 30 days even when it gains another day every 4 years. This also means that every 3-4 years there may not be a full moon in the month. The second month of the Gregorian calendar, February is named after the Roman festival of purification – Februalia – and originally was the last month of the Roman calendar until c. 450 BC. In old English the second month of the year was known as Sol-monath, meaning mud month! February will also often mark the beginning of the Chinese New Year.

For me, there are two stand out colours which represent the month of February: Purple and Red.

Firstly, I associate February – my birth month – with the colour Purple, as the birthstone is the Amethyst, a type of quartz and one of the most common minerals on earth, with transparent light lavender, pale violet to deep purple hues and has been associated with properties such as calmness, stability, and mental clarity. The name comes from the ancient Greek word “amethystos” and in many ancient texts is regarded as a stone when worn or used as a drinking vessel protects against drunkenness and allows the allows the user to avoid intoxication.

Excitingly, in the Daniel Smith PrimaTek watercolours Amethyst Genuine is made from genuine Amethyst crystals, which offers a rich dark purple colour which dries with a light shimmer:

In English tradition, the Violet flower – a pretty, little purple flower – is the birth flower associated with February, with its mystical symbolism denoting modesty, humility and innocence. These pretty little purple flowers have been prized throughout ancient cultures and were commonly associated with love, mystical healing and had deep religious meaning in Ancient Greek and Christian traditions.

There is a popular phrase which contains both February colours: Roses are red and violets are blue is often used as part of a verse indicating love.

There are many versions of the popular saying which is thought to originate from the 16th Century poem by Edmund Spenser The Faerie Queene in a section describing a man viewing a fairy woman bathing herself on a summer’s day: “She bath’d with roses red, and violets blue,…”

This leads suitably on to the second colour I associate with the month of February, which is my favourite colour, Red, as bright red love hearts dominate the beginning and middle of the month in celebration on the 14th – Saint Valentine’s day. Red is a powerful energising colour evoking strong emotions of power, love, passion, and for some anger. In Eastern traditions, especially China, red is an important colour symbolising happiness and good luck widely used in special events, weddings, and festivals.

These are the colours which I associate most with February, the rich powerful colours of Purple and Red brighten up the dark, cold, days of the winter month.

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