Think about it. In nearly every household in the United States, an individual happily surprises his significant other with beautiful roses on one day of the year: Valentine’s Day. We never hear love stories in which a lilac or petunia is given. This norm may seem crazy to think about, and yet, most of us have never wondered why roses have become the designated flower for the day of love. Why do roses hold such significance on that one day?
History of Roses
Archaeologists and historians have dated the first appearance of roses to nearly thirty-five million years ago in the Northern Hemisphere. However, these precious flowers are not limited to those states; they can now be found throughout the United States. The first noted cultivation of roses in history begun in China but spread to Rome due to popular folklore. Roman folklore states that roses are the favorite flowers of Venus, the goddess of love, and perhaps, that is one part of the reason why roses remain the flower of choice for Valentine’s Day today.
The uses of this flower in Rome were not only limited to a form of expression. They could also be used in medicine, perfume, and confetti at large events. The rose has appeared in modern history as well. One prime example is the ‘War of the Roses’ from the early fifteenth century. In the battle between York and Lancaster to control England, two different colors of roses were assigned to each opponent.
Valentine’s Day Norms
The holiday we all know as Valentine’s Day is celebrated by gifting objects that express our love for one another. While we follow this tradition mindlessly, we are often not aware of why we do this. Most stories of origin are attributed to Saint Valentine and his selfless act of restoring the eyesight of a judge’s blind daughter. More importantly, his final words, or rather, written words, were ‘Your Valentine.’ These two words have become a trademark of the holiday.
Thus, we celebrate this day by making our significant other feel special often in the form of gifting. Where do roses come in all this? Roses can be a way of conveying your feelings no matter what the relationship is.
The Meanings of Different Colored Roses
Red is the color of passion. If we love someone, we tend to buy them a special bouquet of red roses on this holiday as it expresses our immense love for him/her. However, red is not the only color that roses may appear in. Pink and white roses are also particularly common. The simplest way to think about this is a staircase on the way to love with the steps representing friendship, platonic love, and passionate love. White and pink roses are usually gifted to important people in our lives besides our significant other. Roses can also express feelings besides passion. For instance, yellow roses represent joy and respect.
Roses are one of the simplest, yet beautiful gifts you can bestow upon your valentine. Nature is marvelous in itself and timeless. Roses have withstood the test of time over centuries and have existed throughout many significant events. We can pinpoint the exact period when roses became love messages to the nineteenth century. The Victorians utilized roses as a form of communication to express their feelings. Often, flowers did a better job of expression than words. The modern term for this method is called ‘floriography.’
Let’s face it: exquisite chocolates and all-paid cruises can be a bit excruciating on your wallet. While we may want to give our lovers the absolute best treatment on this special day, roses have become the more practical choice. They are inexpensive and when given with a well-written note or any object of sentiment, they can have the same effect as an expensive dinner. Not to mention, we can also grow roses in the comfort of our own homes.