As we head towards Valentine’s Day, how do you celebrate this special day and show someone you genuinely love them? For several hundreds of years, giving someone one or more red roses has been a symbol of true love and romantic adoration. But how did they come to have such significance?
If you look towards Greek mythology, it was believed that red roses were created by Aphrodite, the goddess of love. One version of the myth tells of how Aphrodite injured herself with a thorn from a white rose bush, and as her blood fell onto the petals, it was stained red. Another version says a white anemone grew on the spot where Adonis died, and a red rose where Aphrodite’s tears fell. The red rose became a symbol of love until death.
According to legends surrounding the ancient Romans, wealthy Romans associated the flowers from red roses with beauty and love. Rose petals with their scent were scattered in their baths and bedchambers to give off their pleasant perfume.
Early Christians believed that the red rose was a symbol of the Virgin Mary’s virtue. However, Hindu legends tell how Lakshmi – goddess of fortune and prosperity, and wife of Vishnu – was created using 1008 small red rose petals together with 108 large roses. Since then, the Hindus continue to link red roses with love and romance. The ancient Arabs believed that red roses had a literal effect on their heart. There is a tale of a nightingale who fell in love with a white rose, causing the bird to sing. When the nightingale pressed its body close to the rose, its heart was pierced by a thorn and the bird’s blood flowed onto the rose, turning the petals red. Red roses were then seen as a symbol of intense love and romance.
During the Victorian era, flowers became significant and were widely used to express feelings, with gifts of flowers on birthdays and other special occasions. With their long-held traditions and links to romance, red roses represented passion and intimate love.
Today, red roses are a symbol of love and romance throughout the world. However, the colour red which is selected also has significance. Bright red roses symbolise romance whilst deeper burgundy red roses mean undying love. If you receive a red rose bud, this signifies that love is at an early stage or is still blooming.
The quantity of roses you give has special significance too. A single red rose stem symbolises love at first sight and often these can be sent without identifying who has sent them. If couples send a single bloom it simply means: “You are still the one I love.” When you give six red roses the bouquet represents infatuation and desire, whilst a dozen signifies that you want the recipient to “be yours”. Add an extra dozen red roses and the message is: “I am yours!” Whilst 50 red roses, should you be able to afford it, symbolises love without boundaries.
So, as you select that special bloom to give to the one you love this Valentine’s, be sure to choose the right colour and quantity to convey your true message of love.