So what’s up with the month of February and RED? We just had Valentine’s Day a week or so ago and that’s all about red. Ever wonder why?
From what I can gather it goes back to ancient times when February was seen as giving the world the first signs of spring. Certainly true here. We’ve just had a snow but there are crocuses and daffodils peaking up already. It’s all about fertility and passion, folks.
The Celts had a festival in early February called Imbolc. It was when they took stock of their stores of food to see what was left to tide them through the last breath of winter, made candles (it’s a festival of light), made bonfires (a festival of fire, too) and the spring lambs were born. I think the name of the festival actually comes from the Celtic words for “lamb’s milk.”
Some years ago when my daughter was attending college in Massachusetts, she worked on the college’s nearby farm. I was taking her back to school and we stopped by to see how the ewes were doing. The farm did not practice a forced breeding program but allowed the sheep to breed naturally and, indeed, they were all giving birth at the same time in early February. We ended up running to and fro helping mamas with their babies, some of whom had trouble removing the birth sac so the newborn lamb could breathe. It was total chaos and total excitement! I will never forget it and will always associate that experience with the “old ways” and the first signs of spring.
The Christian Church adapted Imbolc into their celebrations and it morphed into Candlemas. Held on the same day or thereabouts as the ancient festival, it is again a celebration of light and the day when the candles in the churches were made and readied for the year.
So today I’m sharing my beautiful red and white amaryllis with you. I got it before Christmas but decided to wait and start it in its pot after the holidays were over so it would bloom in the dark days between the holidays and noticeably longer days of spring. It started blooming about a week ago and finally ended up with six (count ‘em, SIX!) gorgeous blooms.
I’m really feeling spring and the color red stirring in my soul. How about you?