I asked ten women which among the three cut blossoms can make them feel special or giddy the most: roses, lilies, or tulips. Roses got four votes while lilies and tulips got three each. While most women today say that they want something different and unexpected, I was quite confused why they still chose roses when other choices were presented to them. Out of the hundreds and thousands of cut plants in existence, have you ever wondered what makes the roses so special and popular after all these years?
The rose has many times appeared in both mythological stories and history. A white rose from the Garden of Eden blushed and turned into red when Eve saw and kissed it. The Goddess of Purity turned a fair Greek maiden named Rodanthe into a white rose at the temple of Artemis. Faced with her suitors’ passionate gazes, the maiden blushed and turned into red. A handful of stories from both the Greek and Roman myths also associate the God of Love, Eros, to roses where rearranging his name forms the word “rose”. Our ancestors were enthralled by these stories and soon found themselves dedicating the rose to their gods. A white rose clearly symbolizes the Blessed Mother Mary while the five-petalled red rose recalls the five wounds of Christ. During the Roman aristocracy, Nero requested that his floors be covered with layers and layers of rose petals when he is expecting guests. Shakesphere also seems to be fan as he narrates in Henry VI Part1: “opposing parties pick different colored roses at the Temple Church”. Roses have long been a symbol of heraldry as well reason why it is visible on coats of arms, coins, banners, seals, paintings, stamps, even on emblems of both England and some of the American states.
Over time, the rose has acquired its reputation as a symbol of exemplar virtues, compassion, purity, and gallantry. What’s most remarkable though would be its association to women: buds were sought by butterflies (as men do); its beautiful blooms and aromatic essence that seems to give one a warrant to pluck; and as it wilts and browns, it fades and unfortunately forgotten thereafter. Between all these stages, roses and women both prick and inflict pain with their sharp thorns.
Based on the definitions and pieces of history above, we can definitely tell that the rose will always be recognized and treasured as a source of delight to its receiver, whatever the meaning it has in tow nor whatever form it takes. This should be a good eye opener to everyone who’s handed a bloom, as there is so much more beyond its captivating beauty and aroma.