Although cards, gifts and chocolates have a role to play, flowers have become a very special part of the tradition, on 14th February, when people express their love and admiration for one another.
The tradition of celebrating Valentine’s Day has come about through the blending of legends and tales relating to the death of early Christian saints.
Valentine’s Day is thought to have originated with a particular Christian bishop who performed secret marriage ceremonies in defiance of the Emperor’s law. Valentine was eventually imprisoned and legend has it that before his execution on 14 February, he left a farewell love message signed ‘from your Valentine’. This phrase is still in use today as the traditional Valentine’s Day message to a loved one.
References to Valentine’s Day can be found in much English literature. Many of the romantic poets refer to St Valentine in their prose and Ophelia bemoans Valentine’s Day in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Valentine’s Day cards and gifts are frequently sent anonymously … The recipient must try and guess the name of the sender and sometimes may never discover their identity.
While sending paper cards is still popular, more and more people are choosing to convey their affection via SMS or email, and there are many websites that provide personalised electronic cards. However, the giving of flowers, through the ages, has been a wonderfully consistent factor.
The day is also a favourite day for marriage proposals and weddings.
The Language of Flowers … Roses
Red – Romantic love
White – Innocence and charm
Mixed Red and White – Unity
Light Pink – Grace
Dark Pink – Thankfulness
Medium Pink – Happiness
Lavender – Enchantment – Love at first sight
Burgundy – Beauty
Orange – Fascination
Peach – Modesty – Immortality
Yellow – Friendship – Joy – Gladness
Mixed colours – You are everything to me
The red rose is a traditional symbol of love and passion and has appeared in paintings, poetry and songs for hundreds of years. Sending a single red rose on Valentine’s Day is usually understood to mean ‘I love you’.