Flowers for Valentine’s Day

Did you ever wonder why we give flowers for Valentine's Day? Where did this tradition come from? And why roses?

History of Valentine’s Day

Every February 14th millions across the globe exchange heart shaped cards, flowers, and candy in honor of love. The tradition is said to have come from St. Valentine but who is this mysterious saint and why are we celebrating him?

Many believe he is the beloved martyr who was executed in Ancient Rome in 3rd century A.D. However, there were actually several men with name Valentine or Valentinus known to be executed during the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius Gothicus. During this time, Christians were often prosecuted for their beliefs. Lets dive into the three most popular tales of “St. Valentine”.

One is said to be a Roman priest who was arrested for his practices and beliefs. He told one of the guards he could heal his daughter from blindness and once he did, in fact heal her, the man and his entire family were converted. Once word got around, everyone involved in the story including Valentine, were executed.

The second story is very similar except it is an Italian bishop who heals a man’s son. The ending is tragically the same, I didn’t say this historical segment was full of roses and rainbows, I mean it’s the 3rd century and things were pretty dark.

It was also said that ol’ Claudius Gothicus outlawed marriage in this time because “men made better soldiers rather than staying at home with their wives”. St. Valentine allegedly would go around performing secret marriages. According to the legend, this man was arrested and during his imprisonment, he fell in love with a woman who visited him during his confinement. He sent her letters signed “from your Valentine” which is said to be the first valentines ever sent.

Although the history is a bit muddy, as is most history around this time, we can’t be sure of the truth but either way, all of the stories available emphasize the appeal of a heroic and romantic figure.

Another spin on history

Others believe the Christian church only put the holiday in mid February to cover up the pagan celebration of Lupecalia. This is where things get really weird. Lupecalia was known as the fertility festival which was a gathering of Roman priests on February 13th-15th. This crazy festival consisted of sacrificing a dog and a goat and then covering the women with the hide of the animals and walking throughout the streets for what they believed promoted fertility. It is said that the names of the women were also placed in an urn for men to pick from. This festival was eventually outlawed (thank goodness!)

Valentine’s day became more widely spread with many other traditions and especially with Shakespeare’s’ Ophelia calling herself “Hamlet’s valentine”.

Valentine’s Day Today

The tradition of Valentine’s Day went from a horrifically dark beginning to chocolates, flowers, and love notes. According to the Huff Post, 6 million couples are likely to get engaged on Valentine’s Day. Needless to say, this tradition isn’t going anywhere and that’s okay with us. We like to think of the holiday as a time to bring in beautifully colored flowers to brighten up the dark winter months while celebrating love.

So, Where Do Flowers Come In?

The history of giving your loved one Valentine’s day flowers comes from the old fashioned custom of sending floral bouquets to pass on non-verbal messages. Introduced in the 18th century by Charles II of Sweden, each flower had a specific meaning attached to it, making it possible to have an entire conversation using only flowers. This would be known as the Language of Flowers or Floriography. Fertility has long been associated with agriculture and today, flowers still symbolize fertility, love, marriage, and romance.

R O S E S

Long stemmed red roses are particularly synonymous with Valentine’s day. It ultimately comes from the Language of Flowers. This way you can find out what your flowers actually say about your relationship such as, yellow carnations meant your partner would disappoint you. Purple hyacinth meant you were sorry and seeking forgiveness, and red roses, of course, meant deep love. It is said that the deep love connection to red roses took on this meaning because of it’s affiliation with Aphrodite, goddess of love. The ancient myth states that rose bushes grew from the ground through Aphrodite’s tears and the blood of her lover, Adonis.

Historically, Valentine’s Day is supposed to coincide with the beginning of spring which is also birds’ mating season. The birds bring another aspect of love to the holiday and it is also the time when roses would start to bloom. In Colorado especially, we are still knee-deep in snow at this time so the long stemmed beauties aren’t available locally for us. At Wild Blossoms Studio, we source locally whenever possible so this year we are offering lush, pinks and reds, in different flowers other than roses to stray away from the norm.

The Legend of Cupid

Ah, yes the little naked cherub known for launching arrows of love at unsuspecting lovers. This Valentine’s day tradition also has a messy history of “he said, she said”. However, most can agree he was created from Greek Mythology. It is said Cupid is a depiction of Eros, who was the son of Aphrodite, goddess of love. The father of Eros was either Zeus, king of the gods, Ares, god of war and battle, or Hermes, who was the divine messenger of the gods. Whoever the father, Eros was depicted as a handsome immortal who played with peoples emotions. Eventually, Eros, became portrayed as the mischievous, chubby child we recognize today as Cupid.

Wild Blossoms Studio Valentine’s Day Flowers

This year for Valentine’s Day we are offering a “Love Bunch” ready for pre-order and delivery. The love bunch is hand tied using my signature spiral design, then wrapped market style in layers of plum tissue paper and a protective layer of Kraft. Sweetly finished in a romantic satin ribbon bow with your personalized note. The love bunch comes with 10 stems of seasonal blooms. Think romantic shades of red, pink, or blush. I chic monochromatic design to complement anyone’s style and home.

Click here to order yours today!

Love Bunch