Ever wonder how the red rose became the symbol of love?
Throughout Western culture, the rose’s historical association as the official symbol of love and Valentine’s Day can be traced back to the Victorian age. During that time, men (and sometimes women) would send roses to the object of their affection. The floral bouquets acted as a discrete messaging meant to express their romantic interest in the recipient; feelings that could not be spoken aloud in Victorian society.
Victorians were famous for exchanging “talking bouquets” called nosegays, which could either be worn or carried as a fashion accessory. While many types and variety of flowers were used to express a variety of different meanings, the red rose was specifically reserved to convey the message of romantic interest.
Although this communication system is officially known today as floriography, it is not new to the world. In fact, floriography has existed for thousands of years across cultures and in various forms.
Plants and flowers are used as symbols in the Hebrew Bible. They are used to represent love and lovers in the Song of Songs, and even the coming of the Messiah.
In Western culture, the floriography craze is attributed to the Englishwoman, Mary Wortley Montagu, who is thought to have brought it to England in 1717. William Shakespeare often ascribed emblematic meanings to flowers. His play, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is especially famous for making use of flowers as symbols.
In eastern Asia, the cultivation and use of roses in particular for floriography use dates back more than 5,000 years ago. During the Roman period, they were raised in the Middle East where their use expanded to include the creation of perfume, party décor, and even medicine.
As the color red is widely known across cultures to represent the emotion of passion, it only makes sense then that red roses in particular have become the official symbol for love, beauty and romance. Interestingly, the pink rose’s meaning is appreciation and grace, the yellow rose stands for friendship and happiness, and the white rose symbolizes the concept of innocence.
Whatever you’re trying to communicate this Valentine’s Day — whether it’s letting your mom, friend, or spouse know you love them, for example — the red rose remains an ideal and timeless choice.
Want to say “I love you” to someone on Valentine’s Day? Try these beautiful and environmentally friendly Red Double Knock Out Roses.
Written by: Peggy Roosa, Communication Director, TheSpiritualMall.com