Of all flowers, the rose is perhaps the most symbolic, often representing purity, perfection, love, marriage or death. Its essence has been well used in love potions, perfumes and cosmetics.
According to a charming medieval legend, the first roses made a miraculous appearance in order to save a ‘fayre maiden’ who had been sentenced to death by burning. Falsely accused, she prayed for deliverance and the fire subsequently went out. The logs which were already burning became red roses and the unlit logs became white roses.
The red rose was the sacred flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love, and has been a symbol of love and beauty from ancient times to the present day. Nothing epitomizes romantic love as much as a dozen red roses on St Valentine’s Day. Robert Burns’ famous song, My Love is like a Red, Red Rose is famous throughout the world for its romantic sentiments of constant love, such as in verse three:
'Till a' the seas gang dry my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.'
In some countries, the red rose means marriage, while in Christianity, it is sometimes symbolic of Christ’s shed blood. The red rose represented the House of Lancaster in the English Wars of the Roses from 1455-1485.
Happy Valentine's Day!