The February Hanafuda suit is represented by Ume (plum) blossoms, a Red Poetry ribbon, and an special animal card, the Bush Warbler (sometimes called the Japanese Nightingale).
Based on the Japanese calendar, February is actually a Spring month. A very early spring with signs of winter, but spring. The Hanafuda represent this using two iconic images of early spring for Japan; the Ume tree and the Bushwarbler.
The traits of the Ume trees are " Sign of Spring, Protection and Health". It's obvious why it's a sign of spring but an interesting thing is that the Ume is still today used in decorating to protect 'evil corners' of yards. Many shrines have them planted to ward of evil and protect the areas that they are planted in. I couldn't find much info as to why they got this association, but it could have to do with them blooming in the winter, their strength and beauty when they should be dormant. Because of all of its symbolism and beauty the Ume tree has been featured in art and poetry for hundreds of years. The tree is often featured with a small bird, the Bush Warbler (sometimes called the Japanese Nightengale).
Their mating time has also given the Warbler the symbolism of being a Herald of Spring, just like the Ume Tree. This, and them often hiding in the trees, has linked them permanently. However the Bush Warbler has earned it's spot in art, being a popular motif on it's own or with the Ume in Poetry, Painting, and is even Haiku. It's beautiful song has led it to often be called the Japanese Nightingale, however it doesn't actually sing at night. There song has also been used to describe many other things as well, including Female Announcers (Uguisu-jo), and a specific type of squeaking floorboards (Uguisubari).
The Tanzaku from January and February both have Aka Yoroshi written on them using a character for "ka" that is no longer used. This essentially translates to "Passable" or "Acceptable". So for the Hanafuda, and it being an early month of the year, this could refer to wishes for the year, fortunes for the year to come, or even like a "grade slip" for the prior year.
March is the only Tanzaku to have a different message, but we'll get to that next time!
Please share whatever knowledge you have on the February Hanafuda, and I hope this was interesting! Below are some February cards from some of my decks that I've acquired!