As Valentine’s Day approaches, it is time to consider how you will celebrate this special occasion and show your beloved how much you truly value them. The Internet is full of endless articles promoting a variety of trendy gifts. However, heart-shaped jewelry, chocolates, and bottles of wine will likely fall short of expressing the depth of your unique relationship with your significant other. Flowers have been considered a romantic gesture throughout recorded history, as their unparalleled beauty and enchanting fragrance can send messages from the heart without speaking a single word.
Everyone loves receiving floral arrangements of all types, but does any other flower conjure images of romance, passion, and everlasting love more than a red rose? From classic Greek and Hindu myths through the Middle Ages and Victorian era, the connection between love and roses has endured for millennia. The modern custom of gifting red roses continues to remain popular across the world.
If you want to impress your loved one this Valentine’s Day with a gorgeous and thoughtful display, read on to learn more about the association between love and red roses. Then, visit Flower Works to shop our extensive collection of stunning bouquets.
How Did Red Roses Become a Symbol of Love?
Recent archaeological evidence shows that roses have been blooming for at least 55 million years in the Americas. Now, the Rosa genus contains more than 150 species. Roses were widely grown throughout ancient Rome in large public gardens sponsored by nobility. Their petals were used for medicine, perfume, and as confetti during celebrations. Roses were favored due to their association with the love goddess Venus (as well as the Greek Aphrodite) and became an integral component of Roman culture before spreading throughout the Middle East and into the rest of the world.
Greek and Roman Origins
According to Greek mythology, Aphrodite first emerged from the sea within a spray of foam that transformed into a cascade of white roses. Later, when her lover Adonis—the god of beauty and desire—lay dying from an attack by a wild boar, Aphrodite become tangled in a white rose bush as she attempted to reach and comfort him. Scratching herself on the thorns, her falling blood forever stained the petals a deep scarlet, creating red roses.
Roses became an enduring symbol of love that can survive even death. Ancient Romans used rose petals for wedding celebrations, funerals, and other notable events. They scattered them in baths and bedchambers, crushed them for perfume, wove them into garlands, and showered them on banquet tables.
Roses in Other Cultures
The connection between red roses and love extends to other cultures, as well. In Hindu legends, Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune and prosperity, is said to have arisen from 1009 small red rose petals combined with 108 large roses. An ancient Arabian tale tells of a nightingale that fell in love with a white rose, inspiring the bird to sing and press its body against the flowers. Its heart was pierced by a thorn, and the flowing blood turned the petals a vibrant crimson.
Early Christians associated red roses with the martyr St Valentine, who was killed during the 3rd century and became a patron saint of love. Many European churches originally viewed roses as a token of pagan decadence. However, in 794, French emperor Charlemagne issued a decree that all royal gardens must feature roses as well as lilies.
In Victorian times, verbally sharing passionate emotions was frowned upon. As a result, flowers became the primary mode of expressing feelings on holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions. The rose’s symbolism made it a common theme among poets, and roses continue to surpass tulips, orchids, and other varieties as the ideal expression of romantic love.
Lovers would gift red roses in bright red to show romance, deep burgundy to represent undying love, or red rose buds to signal a love that is still blooming. The number of roses is significant, as well. A single red rose stem means “love at first sight” and can be sent anonymously to alert the recipient of a hidden crush. A bouquet of six red roses evokes desire and infatuation, while a dozen roses signals that you wish the recipient to become yours.
We Can Help You Send the Right Message This Valentine’s Day
This Valentine’s Day, take advantage of the rose’s popularity as a symbol of love by purchasing a professionally arranged red rose bouquet for your beloved. Flower Works is open on Sunday, February 13th from 10 AM to 4 PM, and our team would be happy to help you select the perfect floral arrangement to convey your unending love and devotion. Contact us today to learn more about our offerings or to create a customized bouquet that is sure to leave a lasting impression.