Valentine’s Day is a time for the celebration of love and affection, and one of the most popular ways to express these feelings is through the giving of flowers. The tradition of giving flowers on Valentine’s Day has a long and rich history, with roots dating back to ancient civilizations.
In this blog post, we will explore the history of giving Valentine’s flowers, from the early origins of the holiday to modern-day traditions and cultural variations.
The origins of Valentine’s Day can be traced back to ancient Rome, where the holiday was originally known as Lupercalia. This festival was held every year on February 15th and was dedicated to the Roman god of fertility, Lupercus. During the festival, young men would go door to door, offering gifts and flowers to young women. This was seen as a way to bless the women and ensure that they would bear children in the coming year.
As Christianity spread throughout Rome, the holiday of Lupercalia was eventually replaced by Valentine’s Day, which was named after a Christian martyr named Saint Valentine. According to legend, Saint Valentine was a priest who lived during the third century and was known for secretly marrying couples in defiance of the Roman Emperor’s ban on marriage. He was eventually caught and sentenced to death, but before he was executed, he is said to have written a letter to the jailer’s daughter, signing it “From your Valentine.”
The tradition of giving flowers on Valentine’s Day has its roots in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, where young men would give gifts of flowers and sweets to young women.
The first recorded mention of Valentine’s Day flowers was in the 14th century, when English poet Geoffrey Chaucer wrote about the custom in his famous work “The Canterbury Tales.” In the poem, Chaucer describes how birds began to pair off and mate on February 14th, which he saw as a sign of the coming of spring and a time for people to express their love for one another. He wrote, “For this was on seynt Volantynys day / Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.”
In the centuries that followed, the tradition of giving flowers on Valentine’s Day became more widespread and popular, with various cultures and countries developing their own unique customs and traditions. In the 19th century, the Victorians in England were particularly fond of giving flowers on Valentine’s Day, and they developed a language of flowers to express different emotions and sentiments. Each type of flower was associated with a specific meaning, and people would choose their flowers based on the message they wanted to convey. For example, red roses were seen as a symbol of love and passion, while white lilies represent purity and innocence.
In the United States, Valentine’s Day flowers became even more popular in the 20th century, with the holiday becoming increasingly commercialised and marketed to consumers. Today, flowers are still a popular gift on Valentine’s Day, with red roses being the most popular choice. According to the Society of American local Florists, over 200 million roses are sold on Valentine’s Day each year in the United States alone, making it the biggest holiday for flower sales.
Despite the popularity of red roses, there are many other types of flowers that are often given on Valentine’s Day, including daisies, tulips, and carnations. Each of these flowers has its own meaning and significance, and people may choose them based on their personal preferences or the message they want to convey.
In addition to the traditional flowers that are given on Valentine’s Day, there are also many cultural variations and traditions around the world. In some countries, it is common to give chocolates or sweets along with the flowers.
In conclusion, the history of giving Valentine’s flowers can be traced back to ancient Rome, and this tradition has continued to evolve over the centuries. Today, the giving of flowers on Valentine’s Day is a beloved tradition that is enjoyed by people all around the world. Whether you choose to give a bouquet of roses, lilies, or daisies, there is no better way to express your love and affection for someone special on this special day.