Should you send a dozen, 18, 24 or more roses to the love of your life? Any number of roses is always going to go down well, but paying attention to the number and making sure she knows you paid attention is priceless. Use our handy guide to the number of roses you can send and you’ll never Continue reading
The History and Meaning of Red Roses by daFlores.com
Everyone knows that a red rose is a symbol of love and romance. The bright red color evokes the color of heart-blood and the flower’s pristine beauty reflects the beauty of the person who’s receiving it. But roses have been around for some 35 million years, and their symbolism stretches far beyond their current romantic associations.
Early Christians equated the five petals of a wild rose with the five wounds of Christ. But the early church wasn’t sure it wanted to associate the rosa sancta with the decadent Romans. Eventually they declared the red rose a symbol of the blood of the martyrs (in early Christianity, there were many). In some Catholic countries, red and white roses together evoke blood and are used in funeral arrangements.
Greek and Roman mythology linked red roses with their respective goddesses of love and romance, Aphrodite and Venus. Archaeologists have found rose wreaths in tombs. Red roses were worn at weddings, essentially typecasting them for the future. But not all red roses have meant love.
In the 15th century, the house of York and the house of Lancaster had what amounted to a civil war as they fought for control of the throne. There was no “United Kingdom” back then, and the bloody war came to be called the War of the Roses. Why? Because Lancaster used a red rose as its symbol, and York used the white rose. Even today, these symbols live on as the emblem of each county, as does the memory of the war in a not-altogether joking kind of way.
In a rather smart political move, Henry VII of Lancaster, who was the last English monarch to gain a throne on the battlefield, married Elizabeth of York. Their son, Henry VIII, merged both roses into the Tudor Rose, the Rose of England.
Emergence of the cultivated rose
It may surprise you that the rose as we know it didn’t really start to gain popularity until the late 1700s. These roses came over from China. Breeders created hybrids between the red and yellow Chinese flowers and wild roses. From these were developed tea roses that flowered for months, not just during the summer, tea roses, climbing roses and many more.
During hybridization and breeding, large, amazing blossoms were created–but the delicious, heady aroma of roses was lost. Recently, rose growers have attempted to recreate these older roses and produce healthier plants also.
Red roses and romance
And so we turn back to the romantic symbolism of red roses. A single red rose is a pure symbol of love, exquisite in its simplicity and purity. A dozen roses means that you’re thinking of someone all your waking hours. Two dozen? All day, every day.
A hundred? Well, we’ll leave that to your imagination! To send flowers to Bogota or any other city in Latin America please visit daFlores.com
Roses have been around for many generations. During the Medieval Period, they were used for tea and other medicinal purposes. Many rose gardens were even used as a form of defense against invaders. By the 18th century, they were used romantically as courtship gifts, as chivalrous men send roses with white color to symbolize true love. But as time passed, red ones replaced it as a universal symbol of passionate love, while the white rose had become associated with innocence.
The most well known tradition involving roses is none other than Valentine’s Day. This day, which is commonly celebrated on the 14th of February, people give roses to their loved ones. Others would send roses together with sweet chocolates to convey romance and affection.
In Christian tradition, one of Virgin Mary’s titles is “Rosa Mystica” or Mystical Rose. That is why on the 8th of December, white roses are offered to Mary and to all mothers in Portugal and Spain. Meanwhile, in France, the last Sunday of May is the time when families hold gatherings in which a cake decorated with red roses is dedicated to mothers.
In America, National Rose Month is celebrated every month of June. People who enjoy tending to, planting, and caring for these beautiful blooms hold various festivities on this month. In California, rose lovers have even united to build the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, which was inaugurated on March 1995. It holds 4,000 plants and more than 3,000 varieties of this incomparable flower.
On Father’s Day, red roses are given to fathers. On Mother’s Day, many children send roses (usually a dozen of them) to express their love and gratitude. Husbands usually give two dozen roses to their beloved spouses to say, “I belong to you”. For the less extravagant, a simple long-stemmed rose is enough to say, “I love you” or “Thank you”. In some cultures, people send yellow roses to their friends as a birthday present.