Much mythology and folklore considers February to have the bitterest weather: February is seldom warm.
February, if ye be fair,
The sheep will mend, and nothing mair;
February if ye be foul,
The sheep will die in every pool.
As the day lengthens, the cold strengthens.
The word February derives from teh Latin februum--which means cleansing or purification, and reflects the rituals undertaken by the Romans before spring.
Having only 28 days in nonleap years, February was known in Welsh as "y mis back"--the little month.
February is traditionally personified in pictures either by an old man warming himself by the fireside, or as "a sturdy maiden, with a tinge of the red hard winter apple on her hardy cheek."
Henry David Thoreau (1817-62)