11 February, 2008

A SneakPeek at the History

Lets begin it with as long back as the records speak. One reason is because I want to begin from the beginning; about the earliest known significance of flowers and herbs.

It has been known to you and me, now, passed on by our fathers and grand fathers and great grand fathers, the medicinal properties which many herbs carry with them.

Owing to such valuable properties, flowers have been used extensively for commercial purposes like making perfumes, pastes, creams and what not.

Not only the medicinal properties, but since time immemorial, people have admired the beauty a flower carry with itself and has been used in expressing emotions – thousands of them. You would be amazed to know that these expression of emotions have been categorised to have a language of their own and is termed as “Floriography”. Floriography was particularly used during the Victorian era when people used to exchange flowers considering the occasion and the meaning they carry. Not only this, flowers have also been used for religious purposes and one knows what flower to carry to a religious procession, in a church, to a temple and the likes.

Do you know that the language of flowers was as important to people as being "well dressed” during Victorian era? Ya, that’s true history has it all there. Infact, the recognizable scent of a particular flower, plant or perhaps a scented handkerchief sent its own unique message.

Those were the times when Flowers adorned almost everything… hair, clothing, jewelry, gowns, men’s lapels, home d├ęcor, china, and even stationery. Even today, ladies love to flaunt florally decorated hair. And that not the end, if a man wishes to pass on a sweet message to a lady without saying anything, all he has to do is carry a rose bud! Sounds so pleasing.

While Floriography is almost forgotten now, during the latter part of the 19th century and the early 20th, flowers were used to convey messages of love or dislike depending upon which ones are being presented, their sizes, how they were held, or also grouped together. They always a carried a meaning (not that they do not do it now but the interpretations have vanished).
How you send your bouquet also had a special meaning (today we see Online Flower Delivery but does it carry any meaning? Of course, it means sweetheart I am far away and could only send them online).

The way you present a flower had meanings of its own:
An upright position represented a "positive thought;
The opposite direction had a negative meaning.

Several dictionaries were published and written in account to explain this language to everyone, but guess who could have used such a dictionary the most – Of course yes… the lovers.

From here, we come to learn that "ROSES" symbolized love, in general. But the important thing is that each variety and color had his own meaning.
The "LILY," generally symbolized beauty, but since it too has many varieties, thus many diversified meanings.

What if lover’s used two "different" dictionaries--- with each possibly having its own nuances? Yes, both would be in a real fix. And this could even lead to probable confusions.
The significance for correct info can no doubt be ignored in such a case then.

I plan to take this further in subsequent posts.

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