While every month has a birth flower associated with it, perhaps none is more revered than June’s official bloom, the rose. Not only does the rose represent the birthdays of all your friends and relatives celebrating this month, but it has a celebration all its own – Red Rose Day, observed on June 12th, is a day set aside to specifically recognize this most classic of flowers. You may wonder why roses get all the attention – but these exquisite blooms have been the stuff of legend since the beginning of recorded history. To honor our favorite flower this month, we’ve assembled some of our favorite stories about the rose.
The ancient Greeks claimed responsibility for the creation of the rose; or perhaps it is better stated that their goddess of love, Aphrodite, gets the credit. Legend says that the rose first grew when her tears and the blood of her lover Adonis were mingled.
The Romans also attributed roses to their main goddess, making the rose a symbol of Venus’ beauty and love. When Venus’ son Cupid was stung by a bee, he accidentally shot arrows into a rose garden, giving rise to the thorns on a rose bush. When Venus got pricked by the thorns, her blood turned the roses red.
Romans lined the ceilings of their meeting halls with roses; it was the custom that anything said “under the roses” would remain a secret. To this day, “sub rosa” means something to be kept confidential.
An Arabic legend relates that all roses were originally white. One night, a nightingale fell in love with an especially perfect flower, and wanting to be close, pressed its body into the rosebush, causing the thorns to pierce its body and turning the rose red – hence the red rose symbolizing intense passion, even unto death.
Today giving of roses to express one’s love is far less dramatic, yet equally meaningful. In June, whether for a birthday or to celebrate Red Rose Day, come to Rose Hill Flowers for the most beautiful roses in Nashville. Who knows, you may even inspire your own love story.