Why is it tradition to send red roses?

Posted by Michelle Hughes on

First of all, at Bloomstall Flower Boutique we don't sell red roses.  Our owner and lead designer Michelle doesn't like working in red, preferring a softer or more muted palate.  We also don't sell half dozens or dozens of any flower.  We specialize in mixed flower bouquets and arrangements.  With a single flower bouquet or arrangement all of the flowers die at the same time.  With a mixed floral bouquet or arrangement, you can pull the stems as they wilt and still enjoy the other flowers that have a longer vase life.  Now, on to the history of sending red roses to those you love.

Red roses, with their velvety petals and intoxicating fragrance, have long been synonymous with love, passion, and romance. The act of sending these crimson blooms has become a timeless gesture, expressing profound emotions since time immemorial. But how did this tradition begin, and what is the story behind the red rose's ascent to symbolize love and desire?

The roots of presenting roses as tokens of affection trace back to ancient civilizations, where flowers held symbolic significance in various rituals and ceremonies. The Greeks and Romans revered roses, associating them with their goddesses of love—Aphrodite and Venus, respectively. In Roman mythology, it is said that Cupid, the mischievous god of desire, presented a rose to the god of silence, Harpocrates, as a bribe to keep his mother Venus's amorous escapades a secret.

During the Middle Ages, the red rose gained prominence as a symbol of deep affection, owing largely to its association with the Virgin Mary. Christians believed that the red rose sprang from the tears of the Virgin, making it a sacred flower representing purity and divine love. This religious connotation elevated the red rose's status, solidifying its connection with expressions of love and devotion.

However, it was not until the 18th century in Europe that the tradition of exchanging roses as tokens of love truly flourished. It was during this time that the language of flowers, or floriography, emerged as a popular means of communication, allowing individuals to convey sentiments that could not be expressed openly. Red roses, with their rich symbolism, became the quintessential symbol of romantic love and desire, making them the preferred choice for lovers seeking to express their deepest affections.

The association between red roses and romance was further cemented by literary figures and poets who immortalized the flower in their works. William Shakespeare, in his sonnets, frequently alluded to roses as symbols of love and beauty, perpetuating the flower's romantic allure. Likewise, the Victorian era, known for its strict social codes and elaborate courtship rituals, witnessed a surge in the popularity of red roses as tokens of love exchanged between suitors.

In the realm of art, red roses have been a recurring motif, featured prominently in paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts as symbols of love, passion, and desire. Artists such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Georgia O'Keeffe captured the timeless beauty of red roses in their masterpieces, further immortalizing the flower's significance in the realm of romance and art.

Today, the tradition of sending red roses endures as a timeless expression of love and devotion. Whether exchanged between lovers on Valentine's Day, anniversaries, or other special occasions, red roses continue to evoke feelings of passion, desire, and romance. With the advent of modern technology, the act of sending roses has evolved, allowing individuals to convey their heartfelt sentiments with just a few clicks through online florists and digital greetings.

In conclusion, the history of sending red roses is a testament to the enduring power of this timeless tradition. From ancient civilizations to the present day, the red rose has remained an enduring symbol of love, passion, and romance, transcending cultural barriers and inspiring generations to express their deepest emotions through the beauty of nature's most iconic flower.

If you need to send flowers to anyone in the Columbia, Tennessee area consider Bloomstall Flower Boutique.  We don't do red roses, we do exclusive, mixed floral arrangements with a modern twist.


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