Going Back To Our Roots
History of the Tradition of Flower Giving
Have an anniversary coming soon? Give them flowers! Don't have a gift for your friend's birthday? Grab a bouquet of their favorite flowers! Want to comfort your loved one but don't know how? Flowers will do the trick!
Giving bouquets as a gift has been consistent through diverse times and cultures. But when exactly did it begin?
In this article, we explore the history of the practice of flower giving. We'll see how it developed through history and spread around the world.
Finally, we discover why this tradition was so important in the Victorian Era. We see how almost everyone knew exactly the meanings and messages flowers held.
For a crash course on the language of flowers, go to our next article!
Interested in a formal course? Want to get certified as an expert on all things floral? We encourage you to check out organizations that offer programs in floristry, such as:
Flowers and Gift-Giving Traditions.
The earliest dates of gifting flowers go back to the time of Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and the Roman Empire.
These three societies often used flowers in religious traditions. They based their personal use of flowers on their beliefs.
The Greeks used them as props for storytelling. They also made them into decoration for ceremonies. Later, they began exchanging flowers to show affection towards each other.
Societies all throughout history have kept the tradition of gifting flowers. During the Middle Ages, people from Turkey put together the first list of symbolisms for flowers.
This later spread throughout the world. Other cultures fine-tuned these to their customs and beliefs.
The Victorian Era and Flowers.
People from the Victorian Era are often known for being at the height of elegance.
But did you know they used flowers to convey deep, unsaid feelings towards one another?
Back then, people were starting to get more into gardening and flower care. They sought to grow robust, beautiful flowers. They also grew new flower species.
The flowers, in turn, served as a form of communication. It exchanged messages between lovers, friends, families, and even acquaintances.
Flowers showed sentiments ranging from "I love you", to "I treasure you, my friend", to "I'm sorry". They played a vital role in how Victorian-era citizens made their feelings known.
See, Victorian people thought that stating how you feel was tasteless. So they adapted the list of flower meanings back in the Middle Ages. Then, they executed these into how they engaged with each other.
This even included romances! Courting was usually done through exchanges of flowers.
Some groups even came up with alternative meanings to flowers. They did this to communicate in secret, hidden from prying eyes.
Not long after, most individuals knew what every flower and floral arrangement meant. They could sustain an entire conversation without saying a word.
The practice of flower giving became quite popular. Soon enough, people started using bouquets to send certain messages to people. Even the way that the person presented the floral gift became part of their message. This tradition continued (of course with less dramatic quality) across history.
Click here for our article about Flowers and Their Roots