Why Do We Give Red Roses On Valentine’s Day?

For hundreds of years, the crimson rose has been a image of like, enthusiasm and romance. The delicate however thorny flower has an ornate history when it comes to its association with deep intimacy — especially on Valentine’s Working day. But it’s also an emblem of secrecy. Stemming from historic mythology and Roman conquest to solution marriages and discreet messages, the symbol of the rose has followed a extended street to turn out to be the staple of a Valentine’s Working day bouquet.  

A Rose By Any Other Name…

Fossil information point out that the rose is an really historic flower, probable originating in Central Asia tens of millions of many years back. But for a a lot more poetic edition of its inception, convert to just one of the quite a few historic stories that notify of how roses came to be associated with love. Some of the most famed occur from Greek mythology. 

According to the Greek poet Anacreon, the white rose first appeared through the beginning of Aphrodite, the goddess of adore and it really is from her blood that roses later on turned red. The goddess uncovered a plot towards her lover, Adonis, who would be mauled by a boar while looking. Cutting her foot on some rose thorns as she rushed to warn him, specks of blood splashed the white petals and stained them crimson. (Unfortunately, she attained Adonis as well late and he died from a wound to his leg.)

One more legend says that Aphrodite’s son Eros — whom she named the bouquets following by rearranging just one letter of his identify later gifted a rose to Harpocrates, the god of silence, to bribe his secrecy more than Aphrodite’s indiscretions.

Sub Rosa

When the rose has usually remained a symbol of really like, the tale of Eros bribing Harpocrates  to continue to keep quiet about Aphrodite’s affairs has also associated it with secrecy. In truth, the myth turned so common in Historic Rome that householders painted roses on their ceilings as an indicator that “what’s claimed in this residence stays in this household.” Friends have been envisioned to use discretion on just about anything uttered sub rosa, Latin for “below the rose.” 

When Christianity began to distribute, Bible tales incorporated roses as well. The Virgin Mary, a symbol of adore and purity, is stated to be topped in thornless roses simply because she is without having sin. And the Catholic church typically decorates confessionals with roses as a sign of confidentiality during confession. 

It is from a Christian martyr, St. Valentine, that we get the modernized model of Valentine’s Working day. Legend has it that the Roman priest defied Emperor Claudius II and married younger couples in magic formula Christian weddings so the males could depart the military. St. Valentine was sentenced to death — but prior to he died, he wrote a be aware to the jailor’s daughter that mentioned, “From your Valentine.” Though there are many historical references to St. Valentine, the thought of Valentine’s Working day as a celebration of really like has been ongoing considering that the 14th century.

A Dozen Pink Roses

As the celebration of Valentine’s Working day moved absent from its spiritual roots, roses were nevertheless utilized as a sort of solution language. Through the Victorian Period, flowers took on different meanings and messages. The color of roses also mattered — and these symbols continue to maintain true today. Crimson roses are a image of appreciate and passion. Yellow roses symbolize friendship. Orange roses symbolize want. And pink roses symbolize gratitude.


Study More: To Victorians, Flower Preparations Were Often Top secret Messages


But coloration is not the only matter that matters when providing or getting roses. A regular bouquet of roses contains a dozen stems due to the fact they symbolize the 12 months in a complete 12 months and the 12 signals of the zodiac. The variety is a symbol of perfection and completeness. In other words and phrases, if you might be planning for a fantastic Valentine’s Working day this yr, don’t spring for the lesser arrangement from your supermarket’s floral section.

From Aphrodite and her shed really like to the Victorian language of bouquets, the purple rose continues to be a symbol of passion and deep intimacy. It goes to exhibit that love can be beautiful and painful, like a crimson rose and its thorns, but it can also stand the test of time.