While many of us chock Valentine’s Day up to created as a “Hallmark Holiday” it actually has roots as far back at the 3rd century. In that time period Emperor Claudius the 2nd made a declaration that in order for soldiers to perform better in battle they should remain single. He then decreed that marriage was illegal for young men.
Meanwhile, a young Roman priest named Valentine defied this clause and continued performing marriages to young couples in love. When Claudius eventually found out, Valentine was promptly sentenced to death for his violation. While imprisoned, and despite his commitment to the priesthood, Valentine fell in love with the daughter of the jailor. Before his death sentence was carried out, Valentine professed his love in a letter and signed it, “From Your Valentine”. He was put to death on February 14, 270 AD. Around 500 AD, Pope Gelasius declared February 14th the feast day to honor now Saint Valentine. Over the years this date in history became tied with the celebration of love.
Have you ever wondered how and why roses became the symbol of love on Valentine’s Day? Where is the connection between Saint Valentine’s profession of love and the billions of dollars spent on flowers each February? This long-standing tradition began hundreds of years ago during the Victorian era. Throughout history many different flowers have symbolized emotions like love and friendship.
During the Victorian era this tradition known as floriography, which became an advanced study in human emotion. Each type and color of flower represented a message that would be quietly conveyed to the recipient. Each kind, color, arrangement and grouping of flowers was meant to signify a specific feeling. During this time period emotional outpourings were frowned upon. Instead feelings of love, passion, friendship and even those such as grief and anger were to be represented in other ways. Enter floriography. This “flower poetry” became a quickly adopted custom with flower dictionaries being published throughout the 19th century. These guides mapped out each flower's meaning, and how they were to be given, received, and combined to convey just the right message.
Since the Victorian era we have unknowingly adopted these representations into our own culture. In modern day we have a collective acceptance of what kind of flowers send just the right message. If you are trying to express your deep love for your significant other you are probably not going to send yellow tulips. Ask at every flower shop in the United States and they will agree that pink roses signify kind and warm regards, yellow is ideal for friendship and red is a must to show deep and passionate love.
The next question is whether or not it has to be a dozen. The reason many opt to send a dozen Valentine’s Day roses is to signify that your love will last all twelve months of the year. Some lovers will up the ante by sending 24 roses, showing just how much your special someone means in your life. There are many number variations that can be sent to show your love and affection. One hundred roses make a huge statement, while a few simple roses can say you care. When it comes to sending beautiful, fresh cut roses you can’t go wrong.
For some, roses may not make a big enough statement for a special occasion like Valentine’s Day. This is when you may want to consider pairing your beautiful bouquet with a beautiful bottle of bubbly or a box of sweet chocolates. If you want to woo another special someone, say your mother or best friend, a bouquet of pink or white roses paired with a scented candle will bring a smile to her face. There are many ways to show your loved ones just how important they are on this special day.
When you send or receive fresh cut roses, keeping them fresher for longer is key. Try adding some sugar to your vase water to keep your buds beautiful. You can also use a few drops of apple cider vinegar or bleach to keep your flower free from wilt-causing bacteria. Just be sure to change your vase water every other day.