Analogue Monologues: Language of the Flowers

Flowers have long been with us since history. Symbols and meanings vary from culture to culture. Oral literature, folklore, mythologies and ancient plays from Greece, Rome, and China have been talking about plants and flowers to channel the intangible.

Springtime is one of the most anticipated seasons of the year, as it symbolizes growth and beginnings, and the flowers are the best to represent the themes. But not all flowers mean the same.

Credits: megsshelly

Flowers can symbolise an array of different things such as beauty, youth, impermanence, death, and enlightenment. Such symbols can be traced back to ancient history. Greek mythology is a famous source of floral meanings. The anemone represents the story of Adonis and his death. The flower hyacinth has its own mythological origin, the Myth of Hyacinthus, which tells the story of two gods Apollo and Zephyr, both who competed for the affections of a Greek mortal named Hyacinthus. The flower then became associated to sports, play, and competition. And of course, there’s the famed story of handsome man named Narcissus, who turned into a flower due to his extreme self-love. Narcissus is a flower that refers to “pride” and ‘self-obsession”.

Credits: conben, ck_berlin, ccwu & japsix

The Lily has always been associated with purity, and it probably got its meaning when people from the ancient times would offer white lilies to powerful ancient goddesses such as Ishtar, Hera and Juno. Christianity adopted the virginal meaning of the lily flowers as well and associated chastity to the Virgin Mary. Roses remain popular among people, as the thorny shrubs are often associated with paradoxical love and pain. The Chinese associate flowers that come in yellow such as plum blossoms to enlightenment.

In the 19th century, it became a favorite pastime for Victorians to giving special meanings to flowers. The Farmer's Almanac lists the peony for shyness, tulips for passion, red chrysanthemum to be a direct “I love you”, and lilies of different colors becoming more multi-faceted in symbolism—white lilies for purity, orange lilies for wealth, yellow lilies for gaiety, red lilies for passion, and pink lilies for prosperity.

Credits: life_on_mars, earlybird, _haustor, ariel122 & clarapnaraujo

2018-04-30 #culture #flowers #flower-photography

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