For over centuries, roses have been the symbol of love. No matter it’s Valentine’s Day or anniversaries, people love to express their love with rose. When it comes to the word “rose”, most people would think about red rose. However, there are so many different colorful roses in the world, and each color represents different meaning. I hope the following guide of rose colors and meanings will give you more options when choosing roses for your loved ones next time.
The red rose began its illustrious symbolic history in Greek and Roman iconography, where it was tied to Aphrodite, or Venus, the goddess of love. Later, in early Christian times, it became associated with the virtue of the Virgin Mary. By the time of Shakespeare, it had already become a poetic standard that he, and later Gertrude Stein both famously played with.
Through the long and storied history, the bright red rose still reigns as the ultimate symbol of romantic and love, which is perfect for Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, wedding proposal. Desire is another facet of the red rose. In addition to beauty and passion, red roses also symbolize courage. The red rose celebrates the creative spirit of love.
The most famous meanings of the white rose arose from mythology. Many of these myths surround Aphrodite (or Venus to the Romans) as the Goddess of love. She sprang forth into life from the foaming sea, and where foam spilt to the ground, white roses sprung. This and later myths about Aphrodite display the dual nature of love: purity and innocence represented by white roses; desire and sexual gratification by red ones. In one famous myth, Aphrodite runs to help her wounded lover Adonis and catches her flesh on the thorns of the white rose bush. Her blood, falling onto the bush, turns the roses red, symbolizing the way innocence and purity change to experience and motherhood.
The color white has always been synonymous with purity and virtue. And so, sincerity, purity, and chastity are some of the obvious meanings of a white rose. Sometimes called “the flower of light”, one of the meanings of white roses is everlasting love – love stronger than death, an eternal love, undying and all sustaining. White rose speaks of a love that is sustained more by loyalty, reverence and humility than by red-blooded passion. Nowadays, white rose is perfect for wedding decoration, bridal shower, baby shower.
By the 18th century the worldwide love of roses was in full swing, but they were only cultivated in shades of pink and white. At last, the elusive yellow rose was discovered growing wild in the Middle East, and the European love affair with yellow roses was born. The early yellow rose lacked the sweet scent for which the rose is now famous, but as cultivation methods were developed and refined, the beloved sweet-and-spicy rose scent was soon introduced and the yellow rose achieved all its optimistic and aromatic glory.
Yellow roses express joy, gladness, and friendship. They are given to new mothers, newlyweds, and graduates. Yellow roses are also good to celebrate new beginnings. The yellow rose within marriage implies sweet domesticity and familiar love. Personally, I do love yellow rose, not only because it’s good for so many occasions, but the bright color, which makes you feel warm and energetic.
Perhaps the most touching meaning of the pink rose can be found in the story of a mother’s ultimate love and devotion for her child. Legend says that when Mother Mary first saw her son Jesus walking up to Calvary Hill, struggling to carry the cross where he would eventually be nailed to, the first tear that slid down her cheeks landed on barren soil. Once the crowd began to thin out, the first perfect pink rose grew up from that single, precious tear.
There is nothing more touching than for a mother than to receive a bouquet of sweet pink roses as these clearly allude to the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Whether it’s her birthday or its Mother’s Day, pink roses are the perfect gift for her. Nowadays, pink roses are often seen in bridal arrangements, thank you or congratulations bouquets. An admiration for beauty, refinement and enduring grace is also what the pink rose connotes. The color pink also gives people a feeling of cute and lovely, which is also perfect for little girls.
For more rose colors and meanings, please follow our blog. We will come up with more interesting introduction about rose colors and meanings in the upcoming blog. Thanks for reading!