Nothing says “I love you” like red roses. But why do we buy red roses on Valentine’s Day?

We have to go back to the late 17th century, during the reign of King Charles II of Sweden to understand the tradition of why we buy red roses on Valentine’s Day. It was during a visit to Persia that the King learned about the language of flowers.

In the language of flowers, the blooms you choose convey the sentiment you wish to express. So giving someone a yellow carnation meant they’d disappointed you; or giving someone a purple hyacinth meant you were sorry and begging to be forgiven. The red rose therefore translates to professing a deep love. And thus flowers enable us to communicate without uttering any words at all.

Having shared this knowledge, the art of expressing oneself became a fad that boomed throughout Europe. Lists of flowers and their meanings were widely distributed – and followed.

The emergence of ‘floriography’

Indeed it was in the nineteenth century when Victorians used floral bouquets to deliver a message to love interests — that they were, in fact, interested. They called it ‘floriography’ and this helped to solidify the romantic status of the rose.

The Greeks help us to understand why we buy red flowers on Valentine’s Day

The reason why we buy red roses on Valentine’s Day could also be traced back to the Greeks. Here, the rose also took on the meaning of professing love due to its affiliation with Aphrodite, the goddess of love. In Greek mythology, it is said that rose bushes grew from the ground through Aphrodite’s tears and the blood of her lover, Adonis. The Romans, who turned Aphrodite into their goddess Venus, kept the rose as her symbol of love and beauty.

So whether you express your passion for someone or to share the purest love possible. Or whether your roses are red or another colour; it’s your choice. At least you now know why do we buy red roses on Valentine’s Day – and you can choose accordingly!

If you need ideas for flowers to convey your love and your personalities for your wedding day, then get in touch! I’m always happy to chat about flowers – and I certainly love roses, of any colour!

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