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Tracking Down The Tradition Of Giving Flowers


Down the ages, human emotions have found great expressions through the tradition of gifting flowers or bouquets. People often go to a florist to purchase flowers for all occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, to wish well to someone, to apologize, or just to make a person happy.

Some people think that this tradition began way back during prehistoric times with excavators finding its evidence at ancient sites. Traditional Greek mythology, Chinese folklore and history surrounding the Romans and Egyptians all show that flowers had a very important part to play in their society. Giving flowers was considered the most effective means to convey one’s feelings in these civilizations. The ancient Greeks even believed some flowers to be related to divinity.

The Middle Ages saw a continuation of this custom, and France and England were mainly responsible for transferring this tradition down the ages. The present tradition of giving a particular meaning to each flower was imported to the West from Turkey, from where the French and the British imbibed it and disseminated it in Europe.

The Victorian era popularized this tradition of flower giving even further. As overt expression of emotions was frowned upon during the Victorian era, the refined Victorians practised excellent restraint in language and they compensated this hold over the tongue by their gesture of gifting flowers to convey feelings.

The present rules of gifting flowers or bouquets were laid down during this era. For instance, a bouquet of red roses bought from a florist would generate a rather hostile reaction form your beloved if you presented it to her upside down. This is because red roses which are mostly associated with emotions of love can convey negative emotions when they are gifted to the recipient upside down. These ideas were so in vogue that in the 19th century, many books on the language of flowers were published and extensively read.

This tradition has come down the ages, and today people across the world participate in the act of gifting flowers to communicate their emotions. Through gradual evolution over the years, we have arrived at a stage where a lot of flowers now have some meaning and giving flowers or bouquets has to be done according to certain rules and regulations. A beautifully gifted bouquet of red roses is believed to express love while lilies represent purity and grace. On the other hand, a yellow rose depicts friendship while a single marigold depicts sorrow.

Any terrain can be made suitable for growing any flower, as a result of the progress in modern science and technology. If you live in Singapore, and walk into any Singapore flower shop, you will be overwhelmed by the sheer variety of flowers offered for sale that can depict almost any human emotion.

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