Our ancestors (the ones over in Europe, at least) felt the same way. They recognized and celebrated the day smack dab in the middle of the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox.
In the Celtic tradition it was called Imbolc.
These days, living as we do, so separated from Nature, it’s nice to have a day on the calendar, a holiday even, to remind us that the days ARE noticeably longer. And though many of us are still locked in the depths of winter and snow and snow days, we ARE still marching inexorably toward Spring.
Soon, Imbolc tells us. Be patient just a little longer, but soon.