Here’s a Valentine’s Day preparation kit for flowers, poetry and more

Wednesday, February 14 is Valentine’s Day, a day when people around the world celebrate love and romance.  So if you’re ready, here’s a guide to help express yourself to your loved ones.

Flower power

Flowers can send a fragrant and colorful message. Traditionally in the Victorian era each flower had a specific meaning and was used as a symbol or gesture in place of words.

Below is a list of historic meanings of flowers from the Society of American Florists.  Use this as a guide to make your flower selection say exactly the right message you want to send.

Types of rosesRoses

Valentine’s Day is the number one ranked holiday for flower purchases. 61 percent of all roses bought are red. A red rose symbolizes love and romance.

Pink roses are the second most roses purchased at 27 percent. Pink symbolizes admiration and appreciation. A perfect gift for a friend, coworker or fiancee.

White roses are 11 percent of all roses sold. They traditionally symbolize marriage, spirituality and new starts.

Yellow roses account for 12 percent of sales on Valentine’s Day. They symbolize friendship, joy and good health.

Red and white roses show unity. Mixed colors of roses are 16 percent of all purchased.

Orange roses are 8 percent of sales and peach/coral colors are 7 percent. The bright energy of orange symbolizes enthusiasm and passion.

flowers dataOther flowers

Roses may dominate the flower purchase but a quarter of the flowers purchased are not roses, and send multiple messages as well.

Tulip color and meaning:

  • Pink: Caring
  • Purple: Royalty
  • Red: Declaration of love
  • White: Forgiveness
  • Yellow: Hopelessly in love
  • Violet: Faithfulness

Carnation colors and meanings

  • Pink: Gratitude
  • Red: Flashy
  • Striped: Refusal
  • White: Remembrance
  • Yellow: Cheerful

Chrysanthemums colors and meanings

  • Bronze: Excitement
  • White: Truth
  • Red: Sharing
  • Yellow: Secret admirer

Other meaningful plants

  • Lilac: First love
  • Magnolia: Dignity
  • Marigold: Desire for riches
  • Nasturtium: Patriotism
  • Orange Blossom: Fertility
  • Orchid: Delicate beauty
  • Pansy: Loving thoughts
  • Passion flower: Passion
  • Peony: Healing
  • Poppy: Consolation
  • Ranunculus: Radiant
  • Rhododendron: Beware
  • Snapdragon: Presumptuous
  • Stephanotis: Good luck
  • Statice: Success
  • Sunflower: Adoration
  • Sweetpea: Shyness
  • Tuberose: Pleasure
  • Wisteria: Steadfast
  • Yarrow: Good health
  • Zinnia: Thoughts of friends

Poetry

Haiku

One of the oldest forms of Japanese poetry, a haiku, is a 17-syllable verse consisting of three metrical units of 5, 7, and 5 syllables.

Sample:
Cold winter night warms
When we are out together
On Valentine’s Day

Limerick

Originating in Ireland and mostly used with humor. They have five lines and an AABBA structure. The amount of syllables may vary but mostly have 9-9-6-6-9 structure:

Sample:
I’m not certain there’s love at first sight
But I know something of love that’s right
I close my eyes each kiss
And my lips never miss
So there’s love when my eyes are shut tight

Quotes you can use

At a loss for words? Use these.

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.— Aristotle

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.— Lao Tzu

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.— Helen Keller

Valentine and Cupid

Saint Valentine story

The origin of the holiday is not exactly known, but it has roots in a pagan celebration and early Christianity during the Roman Empire. The Catholic Church recognizes several saints named Valentine.

Roman roots

Before any Saint Valentine’s feasts were held, pagan societies in the Roman Empire celebrated Lupercalia in mid-February. Lupercalia is believed to have been around since 750 B.C. and centered around the founder of Rome, Romulus, and his twin Remus. Romulus and Remus were said to have been abandoned and then cared for by a she-wolf known as a lupa.

It is believed the Lupercalia festivals featured Roman priests doing rituals believed to increase fertility as well as matchmaking men and women.

Christian conversion

Once the Roman Empire was converted to Christianity the church wanted to do away with the popular Lupercalia festivals that lasted several days. Around the fifth century Pope Gelasius declared Feb. 14, St. Valentine’s Day.

According to the Catholic Church, Saint Valentine was a priest in Rome who was beaten and beheaded on Feb. 14 about the year 269. The Catholic Church’s research states that Saint Valentine was caught marrying Christian couples in Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Valentinus tried to convert the Emperor and was condemned to death.

St. Valentine is the patron saint of love, young people and happy marriage.

What about Cupid?

Valentine is a saint, but Cupid is a Roman god.

In Roman mythology Cupid is the son of Mercury, the messenger god, and Venus, the god of love.

Sam Cooke’s song “Cupid” released in 1961 charted at number 17. It was also ranked 452, on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest Songs of All Time.

Sources: New England Confectionery Company, Catholic.org, Insight Floral Trends Consumer Tracking Study, aboutflowers.com, Society of American Florists, The Library of Congress, The History Channel

Photos: File photos, The Associated Press, Wikimedia Commons

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