flowers and love-Valentines Day-the other histories, & traditions.... - Wonkey Donkey Bazaar

flowers and love-Valentines Day-the other histories, & traditions....

History of & the tradition of Giving Flowers for Valentine’s Day- an interesting look behind the scenes-

The 8th-century Gelasian Sacramentary recorded the celebration of the Feast of Saint Valentine on February 14. The day became associated with romantic love in the 14th and 15th centuries when notions of courtly love flourished, apparently by association with the "lovebirds" of early spring.

What is the real story of Valentine's day?

Emperor Claudius II executed two men — both named Valentine — on Feb. 14 of different years in the third century. Their martyrdom was honored by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine's Day

Who invented Valentine's day and why?

Who invented Valentine's Day and why? Pope Gelasius I technically invented Valentine's Day in AD 496 when he established The Feast of Saint Valentine, in memory of the martyred saint who died on that day over 200 years before. The first known link between Valentine's Day and coupledom was February 14 1400 though


The dark origins of Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is a time to celebrate romance and love and kissy-face fealty. But the origins of this festival of candy and cupids are actually dark, bloody — and a bit muddled.

Though no one has pinpointed the exact origin of the holiday, one place to start is ancient Rome.

The Romans' celebrations were violent

A drawing depicts the death of St. Valentine — one of them, anyway. The Romans executed two men by that name on Feb. 14 of different years in the third century.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

From Feb. 13 to 15, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain.

The Roman romantics "were drunk. They were naked," Noel Lenski, now a religious studies professor at Yale University, told NPR in 2011. Young women would line up for the men to hit them, Lenski said. They believed this would make them fertile.

The brutal fete included a matchmaking lottery in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then be, um, coupled up for the duration of the festival — or longer, if the match was right.

The ancient Romans may also be responsible for the name of our modern day of love. Emperor Claudius II executed two men — both named Valentine — on Feb. 14 of different years in the third century. Their martyrdom was honored by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine's Day.

As the holiday spread, it evolved

William Shakespeare helped romanticize Valentine's Day in his work, and it gained popularity throughout Britain and the rest of Europe.

Perry-Castañeda Library, University of Texas

Later, Pope Gelasius I muddled things in the fifth century by combining St. Valentine's Day with Lupercalia to expel the pagan rituals. But the festival was more of a theatrical interpretation of what it had once been. Lenski added, "It was a little more of a drunken revel, but the Christians put clothes back on it. That didn't stop it from being a day of fertility and love."

Around the same time, the Normans celebrated Galatin's Day. Galatin meant "lover of women." That was likely confused with St. Valentine's Day at some point, in part because they sound alike.

As the years went on, the holiday grew sweeter. Chaucer and Shakespeare romanticized it in their work, and it gained popularity throughout Britain and the rest of Europe. Handmade paper cards became the tokens du jour in the Middle Ages.

Eventually, the tradition made its way to the New World. The Industrial Revolution ushered in factory-made cards in the 19th century. And in 1913, Hallmark Cards of Kansas City, Mo., began mass-producing valentines. February has not been the same since.

How we celebrate now

Today, the holiday is big business. But that commercialization has spoiled the day for many. Helen Fisher, a sociologist at Rutgers University, said we have only ourselves to blame.

"This isn't a command performance," she said. "If people didn't want to buy Hallmark cards, they would not be bought, and Hallmark would go out of business."

And so the celebration of Valentine's Day goes on, in varied ways. Many will break the bank buying jewelry and flowers for their beloveds. Some will celebrate in a SAD (that's Singles Awareness Day) way, dining alone and bingeing on self-gifted chocolates — while others will find a way to make peace with singlehood in a society that wants everyone to partner up.


Flowers on Valentines Day.

Flowers are undoubtedly one of the most popular gifts to exchange on Valentine’s Day.


Roses can be very expensive on Valentine’s Day but they are not the only flowers you can give on this special day. Any type of flower which your partner really likes and will appreciate can be an appropriate gift on Valentine’s Day. In fact your partner may be extremely touched that you knew them well enough to pick out a different type of flower which you knew they would like. This shows that you put a great deal of thought and effort into buying flowers as opposed to buying red roses which may be more expensive but do not require nearly as much effort.

Another way to give the gift of flowers on Valentine’s Day is in the form of potted plants. These last much longer than fresh flowers which means your partner will be able to enjoy the gift for much longer. You will also have the option of choosing from a large variety of different types of plants. If you know what type of plants your partner will like, selecting a plant will be easy. However, even if you are not sure you can simply select a plant which you think your partner will find aesthetically appealing. The one caveat to buying potted plants is that you should seek out a plant which is relatively easy to care for so your partner will not have a difficult time caring for the plant.

You might also want to consider giving artificial flowers on Valentine’s Day. This may not seem overly romantic but artificial flowers are now actually made to look quite lifelike and some women may actually prefer artificial flowers to real flowers. This may be because artificial flowers require very minimal maintenance and do not require any special abilities to maintain the appearance of the flowers. Unlike potted plants which can be difficult to maintain and may die as a result of too much water, not enough water, too much sunlight, not enough sun or any number of factors artificial plants only need to be cleaned and dusted regularly to maintain their appearance.

A final way to give the gift of flowers on Valentine’s Day is to give your partner seeds or bulbs which they can plant in their own backyard. This can be a great deal of fun because it can be something you and your partner can do together. This type of gift is especially a good idea if your partner has an interest in gardening. However, even if your partner does not have much of an interest in gardening you can include a few books on gardening and a homemade coupon offering your services for an afternoon of work in the garden. This will make the give more special and will allow the two of you to spend some quality time together planting the flowers.

Roses And Their Colour Meaning

Roses may be the traditional gift given on Valentines Day, but they are definitely well received any day of the year. Buyer beware before you buy roses, know what message you are sending in the colour.   Remember colour talks! Although it is a common acceptance that all roses convey warmth and affection, the person receiving them may know and understand the meaning of roses coloUrs and the symbolic message conveyed. It would be nice to assure that you are communicating the right message to that special person sharing a special language between the two of you.


The colour of a rose can certainly be interpreted than the thought you intended.  To ensure that your love (or friend) understands what the roses you are sending mean, follow the guide below so you can be sure of no misinterpreted gestures.


Orange - enthusiasm, desire and fascination

Lavender - love at first sight

Coral - desire

Pale Peach - modesty

Peach - appreciation, closing of the deal, lets get together, sincerity

Red and Yellow - jovial and happy feelings

Red and White - given together these signify unity


Yellow with Red Tip - friendship, falling in love

Yellow - Joy, gladness, friendship, delight, promise of a new beginning, welcome back, remember me, jealousy

Light Pink - admiration, sympathy, gentleness, grace, gladness, joy, sweetness

Dark Pink - appreciation, gratitude, thank-you

Pink - appreciation, thank-you, grace, perfect happiness, admiration, gentleness, please believe me

White (Bridal) - happy love

White - purity, innocence, silence, secrecy, reverance,humilty, youthfulness, I am worthy of you, Heavenly

Deep Burgundy - unconscious beauty

Red (single) - I love you

Red Dark - unconscious beauty

Red - love, beauty, courage and respect, romantic love, congratulations, I love you, job well done, sincere love, respect, courage and passion


Single in any Color - simplicity, gratitude


Red Rosebud - symbolic of purity and loveliness


White Rosebud - symbolic of girlhood


Thornless Rose - love at first sight

There is also significance and meaning to the number of roses you send which is interesting also to note.


1 Rose - Love at first sight!                   

2 Roses - Mutual feelings                           

3 Roses - I Love You!          

7 Roses - I'm infatuated with you         

9 Roses - Together as long as we live   

10 Roses - You're Perfect!

11 Roses - You're my treasured one

12 Roses - Be my steady         

13 Roses - Forever friends

15 Roses - I'm really sorry

20 Roses - I'm sincere towards you

21 Roses - I'm committed to you

36 Roses - I'll remember our romantic moments

40 Roses - My love is genuine

99 Roses - I'll love you till the day I die

100 Roses - I'm totally devoted to you

101 Roses - You're my one and only

108 Roses - Will you marry me?

999 Roses - My love will last till the end of time

Leaves - In general they are a symbol of hope


Rose talk is the language and trend setting is the game. It does not matter whether you are shy, trying to convey a suttle message or shouting it from the stems, saying it with a rose sends a special message.  These "body language" blooms are the most popular of all cut flowers and nothing quite says it like a rose.  Regardless of color, number or stage of growth, rose that are sent every month conveys "beauty ever new."  Regardless if your rose recipient is not familiar with the shades meaning or number of, one message shouts out loud and clear.  The person that sends roses is a romantic and is saying something very special!


An interesting white rose is a Cherokee rose. 

It comes from the Orient, made its way to Florida, and escaped to become the wild rose of the South.  Soldiers during the Civil War planted this rose on the graves of fallen comrades.  Indian legends have been made about this white rose.  Also in the south, there is a leafy white rose native to North Central Texas.  The most famous rose gardens are in Tyler, Texas, known for its field-grown roses.  An autumn rose festival is held there each year.  It is not unusual to see wild white roses running wild in south Texas, at a height of up to eight feet.  White roses do indeed add a wild grace to an untamed countryside.


Early Christians used to shun the rose, believing it a symbol of pagan corruption.  The belief was also that the rose grew thorn less in the Garden of Eden and acquired thorns to remind people of their sins.  How ironic that the white rose, indeed that any rose used to be shunned and is now a welcome symbol in many ways.

Rosa laevigata-the Cherokee Rose


Rosa laevigata, the Cherokee rose, is a white, fragrant rose native to southern China and Taiwan south to Laos and Vietnam, and invasive in the United States. Wikipedia

Scientific name: Rosa laevigata

Symbol of: Georgia

Higher classification: Rose

Family: Rosaceae


What does the Cherokee Rose symbolize?

The Cherokee Rose was selected as state flower because it has come to represent the removal of the Cherokee from the state in 1838 on what is now known as the "Trail of Tears." The white petals represent the clans of the Cherokee and the yellow center represents the gold for which the land was stolen.

The white flowers of the Cherokee rose were said to represent the tears of the Cherokee people who were driven out of their homelands.


The plant would have white blossoms, a beautiful rose with five petals and gold in the center for the greed of the white man for the gold on their land. The leaves would have seven green leaflets, one for each Cherokee clan. The plant would be strong and grow quickly throughout the land all along the Trail of Tears.

The Legend of the Cherokee Rose


In the latter half of 1838, Cherokee People who had not voluntarily moved west earlier were forced to leave their homes in the East.


The trail to the West was long and treacherous and many were dying along the way. The People's hearts were heavy with sadness and their tears mingled with the dust of the trail.


The Elders knew that the survival of the children depended upon the strength of the women. One evening around the campfire, the Elders called upon Heaven Dweller, ga lv la di e hi. They told Him of the People's suffering and tears. They were afraid the children would not survive to rebuild the Cherokee Nation.


Gal v la di e hi spoke to them, "To let you know how much I care, I will give you a sign. In the morning, tell the women to look back along the trail. Where their tears have fallen, I will cause to grow a plant that will have seven leaves for the seven clans of the Cherokee. Amidst the plant will be a delicate white rose with five petals. In the center of the blossom will be a pile of gold to remind the Cherokee of the white man's greed for the gold found on the Cherokee homeland. This plant will be sturdy and strong with stickers on all the stems. It will defy anything which tries to destroy it."


The next morning the Elders told the women to look back down the trail. A plant was growing fast and covering the trail where they had walked. As the women watched, blossoms formed and slowly opened. They forgot their sadness. Like the plant the women began to feel strong and beautiful. As the plant protected its blossoms, they knew they would have the courage and determination to protect their children who would begin a new Nation in the West.

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