Most of the people were acquainted with flowers already in their childhood by having heard some story or fairy-tale or seen some animation, for example, about the scarlet flower. It is said that fairy-tales have originated from the real life. For example, in “The Twelve Months” the princess demands to bring the snowdrops in the middle of the winter. It turns out that snow drops have a special substance, galantamine, which improves activity of neurons and, accordingly to the Chinese scientists, their presence in a room enhances activity of the brain and nervous system.
All around the world, despite any nation’s cultural background flowers tend to attract people’s attention with their remarkable beauty and enchanting scents. Since the ancient times flowers have been used to decorate homes and women’s hair. Flowers in The Roman Empire served as the fortune tellers. In the medieval times lovers’ meeting place could be recognized from the floral surroundings and, the most interestingly, gardens were planted according to the spiritual meaning of the flowers.
The background of the floral symbolism lies in the history of ancient religions. Most of the flowers then (and also nowadays some) were associated with the deities. In the times of the Renaissance nature was considered as a reflection of God.
It is considered that the modern symbolism of flowers has originated from Turkey where, in order to escape boredom, people used to guess the meaning of each flower. The flower symbolism was also particularly well developed during the so-called Victorian era (the reign of the Queen Victoria of England) while during these times people were not allowed to express themselves freely. Thus, flowers became as a new indirect language of feelings. They became a communication tool of lovers. Each flower or bouquet carried a secret message addressed to the recipient. By giving flowers, a man would reveal his feelings towards beloved woman. In the 19th century, as flower symbolism already became much more complex, the books were started to be published about the floral language.
And which role do flowers play today? To begin with, even nowadays every month is related by some particular flower/-s. Carnation flower is related to January, iris – to February. Daffodils, daisies and lilies are usually associated with the springtime months. Roses are considered to be the flowers of June whereas geranium, the variety of Ranunculaceae genus family, also known as “dolphin” – of July. Gladiolus flower symbolizes the month of August, aster – September, marigold – October and chrysanthemum – November. The well-known Christmas flower is poinsettia – the flower of December.
Moreover, many countries have their national flowers. The origin of some national flowers is deeply related to the cultural and religious background of the country and counts hundreds or even thousands of years. The most popularly discovered national flowers are lilies, tulips and irises. The queen of the flowers, rose, is a national flower of Great Britain, USA and Maldives. Edelweiss is a national flower of Austria (referring to “The Sounds of Music”). Tremendous red poppy is the flower-symbol of Belgium. Strongly scented and therefore so much admired lily of the valley is a national flower of Finland. Lithuania’s national flower – rue – symbolizes purity and innocence and in the pagan Lithuania was frequently worn by brides.
In general, flowers are the symbol of uplifted feelings, beauty and compassion. Flowers are as a sign of love, respect and attention and they are inevitable attribute in various occasions: birthdays, weddings, anniversaries etc. Somehow flowers are related to femininity, therefore, many female names are the ones of the flowers.
As it is known, in different cultures exist different superstitions ans symbolic meanings. For example, in Lithuania an even number of flowers somehow symbolizes mourning. There was even one commercial which stated that french may give two flowers and are absolutely comfortable about it as the number for them doesn’t matter. In most of the countries red rose is a symbol of love. That is why it is so popular during Valentine’s day.
The symbolic meaning of flowers is deeply related to their colors. For instance, bright colors such as white and pink mean purity, lightness, red or bordeaux, as mentioned above, -love and/or passion. Yellow color usually stands for wisdom and concentration, whereas orange – creativity and spirituality. Green color represents rebirth, renewal and even fertility. It has been proven that blue color provides peace, serenity and health while purple – devotion and spirituality. However, despite the color, each flower has its own meaning. Therefore, if you cannot predict the meaning of flowers, the best way would be to consult a florist.