THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS: A VALENTINE’S DAY TRADITION
Even though Valentine’s Day has recently passed us by, every year as Valentine’s Day approaches the stores are becoming increasingly stocked with large red and pink hearts, chocolates and. . . flowers! We hope everyone had a lovely Valentine’s Day with someone special with family members, good friends or a “sweet heart.”
Valentine’s Day is a holiday we Americans celebrate with incredible gusto every year, with lavish gifts, chocolates. . . and flowers. But how do you know what kinds of flowers to get? Is it random? Do you pick their favorite flower? Do you know their favorite flower? Do flowers even matter? If you are asking yourself any of these questions, it is not too late. When stress is running at an all-time high for making a “perfect day” a very comforting and traditionally special gift is flowers.
No, I am not going to tell you to buy flowers and realistically, it is more often the kind thought that counts than the “perfect” type of flower. But historically the types of flowers you chose or sent to a person carried incredibly specific meanings.
While the history of Valentine’s Day gets caught up in many folklores and legends, sending secret messages by flowers was popularized by Charles II of Sweden and was a huge fad in Europe. The tradition though stems from the Ottoman Empire, where tulips were used to send messages (as people combined their passion of botany and their desire to communicate). This was a custom of sending floral bouquets to pass on non-verbal messages where each flower had a specific meaning attached to it.
While this is most likely not the origin of flower sending it does continue to add to the history of Valentine’s day. . . and it also provides all sorts of fun for us to send secret messages to those we care about! Generally to send flowers on special occasions is to express sentiments of love and admiration, but it can also tell us a lot about our relationship to the world around us and our appreciation of the beauty of nature, both in the bouquets we send and the beauty we see in the people we send them to. And we don’t have to wait every year until Valentine’s Day to share with flowers how we feel!
Other Fun Flower Facts:
Red roses are traditionally associated with Valentine’s day and most often are said to signify passion
In Solvenia the tradition of Valentine’s Day “brings the keys of roots,” which in traditional folk-lore and legends means that plants and flowers start to grow on this day. It has been celebrated as the day when the first work in the vineyards and in the fields commences.