You may think of the carnation as a plain, even boring flower; affordable, not very elegant and used more often as background and filler than in a standalone floral bouquet. However, you may be surprised to learn that the carnation has a regal back-story, and is celebrated in many ways around the globe.
The carnation’s scientific, botanical moniker is dianthus, coined by a Greek botanist and translated to “divine flower” or “flower of the gods”. The carnation is mentioned in greek mythology dating back several thousand years, utilized in greek ceremonial crowns, known as coronas. It is widely thought that the word carnation is likely derived from its usage in the corona. However, the Greeks are not the only deities associated with the carnation – according to legend, carnations were first seen when the mother of Jesus cried as He suffered on the the cross. As her tears were absorbed into the ground, pink carnations sprung up. To this day, pink carnations are thought to represent the purity and devotion of a mother’s love, making them the perfect flower to send on Mother’s Day.
But the carnation has even more of a story to tell. Here in the U.S., a carnation is the appropriate flower to send on a first anniversary; while in Korea, a red carnation is used to celebrate Parent’s Day (their hybrid version of Mother & Father’s Day). At some universities in England, most notably Oxford, tradition dictates that carnations be worn during student exams – white is worn to the first exam, red to the final exam.
Call Central Square Florist of Boston if anyone in your life is celebrating a birthday in January. Make sure their birthday floral arrangement contains carnations – after all, it is the official birth flower of January! So whether honoring your grandmother, or welcoming a new baby– we have the perfect floral bouquet to celebrate.