Valentine’s Day, why do we give flowers?

Valentine’s Day, why do we give flowers?

I’ve been doing a little research as for me, its seems obvious to give flowers to my loved one, regardless of the day of the year, and if they give them to me, so much the better. But I was intrigued into the history behind the tradition of Valentine’s Day flowers. Here is what I’ve found from a few sources:

According to proflowers.com ” The history of Valentine’s Day, legend says, originated during the third century in Rome. During this time, Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers, so he outlawed marriage for young men. A young priest named Valentine was furious with this injustice and defied Claudius by continuing to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. Claudius eventually discovered Valentine’s actions and sentenced him to death (not quite the fate of those who fail to buy their significant others flowers on Valentine’s Day, but clearly a lesson to be learned from history!).

During his time in jail, Valentine fell in love with his jailer’s daughter, who visited him in prison. Before he was put to death, Valentine sent a letter to the girl and signed it, “From Your Valentine” — an expression we still use today. Valentine was executed on February 14, 270 AD. Later, around 496 AD, Pope Gelasius declared Feb. 14 a day to honor Valentine, who by that time had become a saint.

Today, we continue to honor St. Valentine and recall the history of Valentine’s Day each year on February 14 by celebrating our love for significant others, friends, and family. For thousands of years, the middle of February has been a time for fertility festival celebrations, so it is no wonder Valentine’s Day flowers are often the Valentine’s Day gift of choice around this time of year. For centuries, flowers have symbolized fertility, love, marriage, and romance.” www.proflowers.com

Looking more specifically at roses I found this, I love the concept of floriograpy!

“How does the rose’s symbolism represent Valentine’s Day?

It harkens back to the nineteenth century when Victorians used floral bouquets to deliver a message to love interests — that they were, in fact, interested. This system is called “floriography,” and it officially solidified the rose’s romantic status. However, cultivation of this garden variety dates back to 5,000 years ago, in eastern Asia. Later in the Roman period, they were raised in the Middle East and used as perfume, party decor and medicine. Most of the roses we see today can be traced back to the late 1700s, when they began to trickle into Europe. The flower itself may not be the only reason for its expression of love. The color of traditional roses, red, represents passion. Interestingly, the pink rose may stand for appreciation and grace, the yellow rose may stand for friendship and happiness, and the white rose may stand for innocence” Ashley Paige, www.marthastewart.com

So there you have it, and I would certainly say from personal experience, that flowers do talk to me!! What do you want to say to your Valentine next Wednesday?

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Katherine