The history of funeral flowers
Posted by: scentandviolet May 6th, 2017
You may think that sending flowers to a funeral is a fairly modern custom that began perhaps a few hundred years ago. But the truth is, sending flowers to a funeral isn't just a few centuries' old custom, it's a ritual that began more than 62,000 years ago!
How do we know this? An archaeologist (Dr. Ralph Solecki) excavated a cave in Iraq in 1951. Dr. Solecki subsequently discovered several grave sites within the cave, and scientists later confirmed that these sites were the oldest evidence of religious activity in the world, dating back 62,000 years. Through soil testing near the burial sites, they concluded that mourners had placed flowers around each of the coffins not necessarily to honor the deceased, but probably to mask the unpleasant scent associated with death. Not a pleasant thought, but fortunately as our ancestors discovered ways to preserve the bodies of their dead, the giving of funeral flowers evolved into a way to symbolize the cycle of birth and death and to bestow a parting gift to a loved one.
As time passed and the use of flowers at funeral ceremonies evolved further, the language of flowers was born, and colors and varieties took on specific meanings and symbolism. Pink roses symbolized grace, love and admiration, while white lilies symbolized the innocence and purity restored to the soul after death.
Today, there is an entire symbolic language surrounding flowers which is helpful to know when you request an arrangement that will consist of flowers that symbolize your relationship to the deceased, whether parent, child, sibling, friend or acquaintance. Your florist is well-versed in the complex and deeper meaning associated with types and colors of flowers and will be happy to guide you. Contact us if you're in need of a special arrangement for a loved one or friend. We'll gently guide you to an arrangement that will symbolize, above all else, your love.