Roses are the quintessential Valentines Day gift. Undisputed world champions of the flower gift market. The problem is that they are often massively over priced for the key days, to a point where most men I know say to themselves “why bother.” They have a good point, but of course the Rose does some how hold great romantic capital in the love department. I was personally curious as to why this was and found the perfect answer in where else but Wikipedia. Here’s a precis which explains all.
“The rose has always been valued for its beauty and fragrance and has a long history of symbolism and meaning. The ancient Greeks and Romans identified the rose with their goddesses of love Aphrodite and Venus. In Rome a wild rose would be placed on the door of a room where confidential matters were discussed. The phrase sub rosa, or “under the rose”, means to keep a secretâ€”derived from this ancient Roman practice.
Early Christians identified the five petals of the rose with the five wounds of Christ their leaders were hesitant to adopt it because of its association with Roman excesses and pagan ritual. The red rose was eventually adopted as a symbol of the blood of the Christian martyrs. Roses also later came to be associated with the Virgin Mary.
Rose culture came into its own in Europe in the 1800’s with the introduction of perpetual blooming roses from China. There are currently thousands of varieties of roses developed for bloom shape, size, fragrance and even for lack of thorns.
Roses are ancient symbols of love and beauty. The rose was sacred to a number of goddesses (including Isis and Aphrodite), and is often used as a symbol of the Virgin Mary. Roses are so important that the word means pink or red in a variety of languages (such as Romance languages, Greek, and Polish).”
There you go. What a great way to add some romantic gloss the next time you hand over the ubiquitous twenty four red roses. Your date couldn’t fail to be impressed!