The Traditional Easter Flowers

By Richard Beasley, Special for  USDR.

Flowers play an important role during the Easter season. Some flowers are even called Easter flowers because of the significance and symbology they hold in relating to this time of year. Most common is the Easter lily; these white flowers represent the spiritual essences of not just the Christian holiday of Easter but the older more traditional meaning. They are the delicate embodiment of renewed life, hope and  purity.

Easter lilies are the most frequently associated Easter flower and are a native of the Ryukyu Islands in southern Japan, however the US currently controls the growth market of the Easter lily. Currently the most commonly found and grown Easter lily is a variety known as Nellie white, this variety has the traditional Easter flower shape of large, white, trumpet shaped flowers. These Easter flowers are also often called the “white robed apostles of hope” and are found on altars everywhere during the Easter  season.

Easter lilies are not the only Easter flowers, in the United Kingdom and Russia it’s the pussy willow that is there traditional Easter flower. Another still commonly found Easter flower is the Narcissus. Commonly given flowers at Easter time are Daffodils, tulips and in Germany some types of red flowers, red symbolizing the blood of  Christ.

Still out of all the Easter flowers the Easter lily reigns supreme mentioned many times in the bible, from the Garden of Eden to the Sermon on the Mount, the traditional Easter lily has been mentioned. Lilies have often played a significant role in allegorical tales and are related to motherhood and is closely associated with the Virgin Mary, paintings show the Angel Gabriel offering Mary lilies, when he came to speak to her passing the message that she was to the be mother of Christ. Some legends state that when the Virgin Mary’s tomb was visited three days after her burial just like with her son, it was empty of her body and only bunches of lilies  remained.

Lilies are often associated with the Annunciation, or the resurrection of the Virgin, tying them in closely with the spirit of Easter. Another reason why flowers are bulb flowers like the lily are closely associated with Easter is the type of care they require, bulb plants need a freeze in order to bloom successfully, this ties in perfectly with the traditional meaning of the Easter season. After the frozen time of winter they are renewed and reborn, just as people of ancient times believed spring to be. The pure white color and gentle tones remind us of the innocence and purity of renewed and new  life.

As such Easter lilies make the perfect Easter flower. They bring together traditions of the old and the new, representing both worlds and means for the Easter holiday season. They are also a great Easter gift that keeps on giving year after year. Less often used flowers are the chrysanthemum, carnation, daisy and even sunflowers have found their way into the Easter flower   tradition.

Richard Beasley writes for several online website and ezines.

For more Easter articles and resources including the Easter Basket [http://www.easter4u.com/Easter-Basket.html] and other Easter topics.

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