For much of human history, flowers have been a useful way for human beings to display their feelings such as love, sympathy and gratitude. Not only do meticulously arranged flower arrangements showcase heartfelt emotions and appreciation towards loved ones and friends, these fascinating blooms can lighten the mood anywhere and anytime with their aroma and beauty.
Having said that, have you ever wondered about the origins and interesting historical facts about flower-gifting? Read on to learn more about how gifting flowers started and developed across time and place!
#1: Flower-Gifting Has Its Roots In The Distant Past
The Ancient Chinese, Greeks, Romans and even Egyptians were said to have utilized flowers for religious purposes and as means of communications in their legends and stories. Later on, gifting flowers was a prominent part of human relations during the middle Ages. During the Victorian epoch, people were not used to displaying their emotions and feelings. As such, people used flowers and their underlying meanings to showcase their attitudes.
A fascinating point to note during this same Victorian period was that the way flowers were presented and received were as important, if not more important, than the actual flowers themselves and what they supposedly represented. The sizes, conditions and colors’ of flowers transmitted important signals among people without receivers and givers having to utter a single word. Someone who offered a flower upside down could have the intention of portraying the direct opposite meaning of the particular flower in question. There were guidebooks that flourished (pun intended) during the Victorian era that provided readers with clues as to the meanings of flowers and the possible intentions of the givers.
#2: Take Note Of The Number of Flowers Given
Besides the colour and condition of flowers, another key thing to bear in mind when choosing flowers before giving them to someone would be the number of flowers presented. For example, if you are giving your wife a Valentine’s Day rose bouquet surprise, you might want to consider giving her one rose (to show that she is the ‘one and only’ for you), or three roses (to show her that ‘you love her’). Avoid giving your beloved wife 25 roses since a bouquet of 25 roses usually is a congratulatory gift (instead of a romantic one).
#3 Etiquette Is More Important Than Beauty
All flowers have their own beauty. Yet oftentimes, different people have different conceptions of what ‘beauty’ is. When gifting flowers, should you only stick to what flower is the ‘most beautiful’ or ‘considered the most beautiful’?
The answer is no.
Instead, you should choose your flowers according to the etiquette required for a certain occasion. For instance, you should choose lilies when giving a flower wreath to a bereaved person and avoid giving chrysanthemum flowers to your girlfriend for Valentine’s Day (at least in Singapore) even if you find chrysanthemums beautiful. The rule of thumb is to give suitable flowers for any particular occasion that might or might not be the most beautiful.
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