Spring is here and Easter is just around the corner. Along with Easter comes the blooming of many beautiful spring flowers. Maybe that why so many spring flowers are associated with Easter; however, some flowers are considered Easter flowers for deeper reasons. In my family, flowers were always a big part of the Easter celebration and I have always automatically associated the holiday with flowers. I never stopped to think about why certain flowers are always given and used for Easter-have you? Here are six popular flowers for Easter and some interesting history behind them.
1. Easter Lily
The quintessential Easter flower is of course the Easter lily. I remember bringing my grandmother a pot or bouquet of Easter lilies every Easter. Why is the Easter lily such a popular Easter flower? It does not naturally bloom at Easter time, after all. It turns out this flower is full of religious symbolism and there are many religious myths about it. The Easter lily bulb is said to represent Christ’s tomb, while the flower emerging from it represents Christ’s arising from the dead. The flower is symbolic of love, hope, and purity. There is a myth that lilies grew where drops of Christ’s blood fell as he hung on the cross.
Image via Flickr by Joe deSousa
Daffodils, along with other spring bulbs, are symbolic of new life; however, this flower’s association with Easter doesn’t stop there. Legend has it that the first daffodil appeared in the garden of Gethsemane to comfort Jesus before he was taken away to be tried and crucified. In England, daffodils are known as Lenten lilies, because they bloom early during Lent.
Image via Flickr by AskJoanne
Tulips are often called the harbingers of spring, as they are some of the first flowers to bloom. Spring flowering bulbs such as the tulip seem to come back from the dead, which is one reason they are associated with Easter. Personally, I always thought that the bright, multi-colored closed blooms of the tulips resembled Easter eggs. I think tulips make excellent flowers to decorate tables with for Easter get-togethers.
4. Easter Cactus
The Easter cactus is another flower that you see in stores at Easter time. It is an epiphytic cactus that blooms around Easter time with bright, showy blooms in colors of pink, red, orange, lavender, and white. It looks very similar to the Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti. The difference is it has more rounded leaves instead of the spiny ones of the Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti; also, unlike the other holiday cacti, its flowers last 10 to 14 days instead of 4 or five.
Image via Flickr by Tim Bowers
Daisies symbolize purity, innocence, and loyalty. The daisy evolved as a symbol for the infant Jesus in the 15th century. One legend says that daisies sprung from the tears of the Virgin Mary as she wept for Christ during the crucifixion. Another story states that the wise men knew where to find the baby Jesus because of the daisies growing around the stable-they looked like the North Star. There are so many types of daisies there is sure to be one to suit every taste. My favorites for Easter are Shasta daisies and the bright, colorful Gerbera daisies.
There is nothing like the sweet scent of hyacinth flowers. Another early spring blooming bulb, the hyacinth can be given as a potted bulb and be planted in the garden after the blooms die back. They come in pink, yellow, white, and shades of purple-which are also the classic colors of Easter. You will see them widely available in stores in the spring. In the language of flowers, the hyacinth represents sport or play, while the blue hyacinth means constancy.
Which ever bloom you choose this year, we hope you and your family have a fantastic Easter!
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