Just when you thought it was safe to walk the streets again, you’re being reminded to buy chocolates and flowers to profess your love. With Christmas and the New Year barely behind us, the season has magically honed into Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong I like the day of love, but I’d like a little breathing room between holidays.
While the reason for Valentine’s Day is well known, the origin of the red rose being the symbol for love isn’t. My boyfriend so kindly pointed out this enigma and I was instantly curious. Besides, I didn’t want to write any old blog about Valentine’s Day. 🙂
The word “rose” means pink or red in the Romance and Greek languages, and is an ancient symbol of love and beauty. Hence, the reason the rose is identified with the Greek and Roman goddess of love, Aphrodite and Venus. Specifically, the red rose is one of the most universal symbols and carries more meaning than many other colors.
The modern red rose was introduced to Europe from China in the 1800’s. The color red itself evolved from an early primal symbol for life into a metaphor for deep emotion. Many early cultures used the flower as a part of marriage ceremonies. Through this practice, the red rose became known as a symbol for love and fidelity. As the tradition of exchanging roses and other flowers as gifts of affection came into prevalence, the red rose naturally became the flower of choice for sending the strongest message of love. This is a tradition that has endured to the present day.
Thanks to that little history lesson, it’s understandable why red roses are a popular way to say “I love you”. And having a bouquet delivered to a lover on Valentine’s Day makes a strong romantic statement, even in a budding relationship. Red is a powerful provocative color that can elicit an equally compelling response. So what better choice than the red rose to represent the day of love and lovers worldwide?
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Wikipedia: Rose (symbolism)