Roses are Red and Pink and...
A Rose by any other Name
What about Roses?
I meant this as a Valentine’s hub. However, I was not able to finish it on time for Valentine’s Day so I’m turning it into a flower and color hub instead.
No other flower can rival the rose as the symbol of love and passion. Even the color and the number of roses given, have their own special meanings. Why so? Let’s find out.
A Bit of Myth and History
The rose as a symbol of love has both mythological and historical origins and it is no longer clear where one aspect ends and the other begins.
The Greeks and Romans believe that the rose is the symbol of their goddesses of love, Aphrodite and Venus respectively.
According to the myth, roses appeared on earth as Aphrodite/Venus emerged from the sea. This supposedly shows that just like the gods, the earth is also capable of producing a thing of perfect beauty. Boticelli depicts this in his famous painting, the “Birth of Venus”, which shows roses surrounding Venus as she emerged from the sea.
Another myth tells that the rose originally had no thorns. However, one day, Cupid or Eros (the god of love), was stung by a bee while he was enjoying the scent of the rose. Annoyed, he punished the flower by shooting arrows to the stem, thus the rose developed thorns. Notice that rose is an anagram of Eros.
Meanwhile, history tells that during the Victorian times, suitors gave roses to the ladies they are courting as a symbol of their love. This is especially true for the red rose. A single rose supposedly stands for “I love you, and only you”, while a dozen roses means “be my steady or my girl”. In addition, there is a beautiful Roman tradition wherein married couples are crowned with red roses.
The Other Meaning of Roses Around the World
Aside from being a symbol of love, the rose also has other meanings.
a) To Christians
Among Christians, the rose is associated with the Virgin Mary. It also symbolizes the blood of Christian martyrs as well as the five wounds of Christ. Furthermore, the word "rosary" comes from rosarium, a Latin word that means “rose garden” or “garland of roses”.
According to a Christian legend, a monk made a garland of 150 roses every day as an offering to the Virgin Mary. When he could not get enough roses, he substituted the rose garland with 150 prayers. Because of his piety, a “beautiful glowing woman” gave him a rosary with 150 beads. The first rosaries are supposedly made from rose hips, the fruits of roses.
b) In Rome
In ancient Rome, a wild rose on the door of a room indicates that top secret or confidential matters are being discussed. Thus, the rose on the door in ancient Rome is as good a reminder as an “off limits” sign at present times.
By the way, the term “sub rosa” or “under the rose” means to keep a secret. Romans therefore painted roses on the ceiling of their banquet halls to remind everyone that whatever are said under the influence of wine or sub vino must remain as sub rosa.
A rose is also carved on the wooden door of confessionals in Catholic churches to indicate the secrecy of the place.
In present times, the term sub rosa also means “confidential” or “off the record”.
c) In England
The secrecy meaning of the rose is also used in England.
During the 16th century, servants and tavern workers wore roses behind their ears to indicate that whatever they hear will not be shared with others.
A rose is also a usual component in the coat of arms of many families in medieval England. A well-known example is the War of the Roses between the white rose of York and the red rose of Lancaster. These two families fought to gain control of the English crown.
d) In France
The former empress of France, Empress Josephine, loved roses. It is said that botanists were hired to create the most perfect roses for her. These roses covered her Paris estate.
e) In Germany
Secrecy is also the name of the game when it comes to roses in Germany. Dining rooms at homes and in public places are usually adorned with roses to signal to diners that they can speak freely as they enjoy their food.
f) In the USA and Other Parts of the World
The rose as the flower to give during Valentine ’s Day is popularized in the USA and other parts of the world. The meanings of the various colors of roses also gained popularity the same way.
A Rose is for Loving
It is but natural that a red rose is the symbol of love. Why? Because red is a warm color. It is fiery, hot, vibrant, and stimulating. It is eyecatching and draws attention. This is the reason why photographers always carry something red so that they can use it to catch attention in an otherwise drab or dreary scene.
Red is also the color of blood. It means life. When you are in love, you are alive, interested and passionate.
Physiologically and psychologically, red makes your heartbeat and breathing go faster. The same thing happens when you are in love. Didn’t you catch your breath and feel the thud of your heart when you saw your crush walking down the street towards you?
Color therapists say that red is a color both of passion and pain. That’s what love is too, full of passion and pain, right? And that’s what a rose is too - it makes you passionate but can hurt you with its thorns.
Oh la la... as the saying goes; love is what makes the world go round. And love is a rose and a rose is love as can be seen in the quotes below.
The rose speaks of love silently, in a language known only to the heart.
Oh, my love is like a red, red rose, that's newly sprung in June; Oh, my love is like the melody, that's sweetly played in tune.
- Robert Burns
What the Rose's Color Means
- Red - True love, romance and passion
- Blue - Mystery, attaining the impossible
- White - Eternal love, silence or innocence, wistfulness, virtue,purity, secrecy, reverence and humility
- Black - Death, hatred, farewell, rejuvenation or rebirth
- Yellow - Friendship, or dying love (or platonic love) or jealousy, infidelity, or apology
- Pink - Grace
- Dark pink - Gratitude
- Light pink - Desire, passion, joy of life, youth, energy
- Burgandy - unconscious Beauty
- Coral or orange - Desire, passion
- Lavender (violet) - Love at first sight
- Red and White together - Unity
- Red and Yellow together - Joy, happiness, and excitement
- Thornless - Love at first sight
There Must Be Something about a Rose
There must be something about a rose that makes lovers swoon and singers sing and writers write and ... oh the list goes on but here are a few examples:
a) Some Phrases with Roses
... Everything's coming up roses.
... Every rose has its thorn.
... Pin a rose on your nose
... Take time to smell the roses.
b) Two songs with Roses
“Some people say that love is a rose
Maybe they've hit it right on the nose”
Yes, maybe they’ve hit it right on the nose indeed: when it’s a red rose.
- Then It’s Love by Don Williams
The days of wine and roses laugh and run away like a child at play
Through a meadow land toward a closing door
A door marked "nevermore" that wasn't there before
- The Days of Wine and Roses by Andy Williams
c) Some quotes with Roses
What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. - William Shakespeare
The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose. - Kahlil Gibran
There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted. - Henri Matisse
. . . One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes. . . . It’s the time that you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important. . . . You become responsible for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose. . . .” The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
This quote from The Little Prince inspired the song "L'important C'est La Rose" by Gilbert Becaud.
The following You Tube video is from this site:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KamOG_hQPEI&feature=related
Roses Are Red and Pink and Any Other Color You Can Think Of
When you say "rose", the color red or pink immediately comes to mind, right? In fact, the word “rose” can mean either the flower or the color or both. Thus, the idiom “rose colored glasses” means to believe something is much better than it actually is.
Roses are naturally red or pink or white. Nowadays however, you can have any color of rose you like... peach, yellow, lilac, or even green, blue or black.
The first 3 colors (peach, yellow, lilac) have become almost as common as red, pink and white roses. Meanwhile, a green rose is considered exotic but is still naturally occurring. The last two colors (blue and black) however are still rare but can be had. How is that possible? Well, there are actually three ways to do it:
1) by the expensive way of genetic manipulation;
2) by the cheaper way of using dyes; and
3) by color manipulation with a photo editor. This is of course possible if all you need is a picture of the rose.
You can see this manipulation in the photos at the right.
Aha, doesn’t that diminish the beauty and mystery of a rose then? Maybe yes, maybe no, it’s really up to you. For me, I adhere to what Gertrude Stein said... “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose”.
My Other Color Hubs
If you like roses, check out this hub by another hubber.