Lilies certainly have a very long history and date back to 1580 B.C. Amazingly pictures and images of lilies were found in a villa in Crete. These truly majestic flowers have held a role in ancient mythology.
Their name came from the Greek word “leiron,” which was assumed to refer to the white Madonna lily. The lily was held in high esteem by the Greeks and they believed that it came from the milk of Hera, the queen of the gods. But as with many other flowers, they have different meanings. Here we’ll take a look at the different meanings these gorgeous flowers represent.
In Christianity, the lily is thought of as a symbol of chastity and purity. The flower is associated with the Virgin Mary. Generally, it is believed that the tomb of the Virgin Mary was decorated with white lilies. Different parts of the flower were embodied by attributing the features of the Virgin Mary to them. The leaves symbolised her modesty, the white petals meant innocence and purity, while the stem of the flower was considered to by the symbol of Virgin Mary’s religious beliefs.
The Anglican churches in England have a truly unique symbol associated with the lily. They believe it represents a lily crucifix. In these churches, although there aren’t many of them, the symbolisation comes from the roots in the medieval belief that Jesus Christ’s annunciation and crucifixion took place on the same day of the very same year.
In France, the three petal lily called the Fleur-de-Lis, is all about prosperity and royalty. The three petals depict a trinity symbol of hope, faith and charity.
Now let’s move onto Buddhism. What does the lily mean to them? Well it means mercy, compassion as well as aggressive traits of the female nature. Now that’s a difficult meaning to figure out.
The water lily doesn’t actually fall under the same family as other lilies, but people still call it a lily in any case. They have significance in Hinduism as well as Buddhism. It symbolises enlightenment and purity of the soul. This is because the flower blooms and emerges from the mud.
In Greek mythology the lily represents motherhood and rebirth, and this is because it was believed that the flower was created from Hera, the wife of Zeus, as we mentioned earlier.
According to Roman legend, they believe that Venus, the goddess of love, emerged from the water, she saw a lily and she became jealous of the beauty of the flower. She grew to hate the flower and felt threatened by it. So what did she do? She gave the flower another part, a long pistil at the centre of the flower, hoping it would make it far less attractive. The lily therefore symbolises the proclamation of love and lust.
In Ancient Greece, the lily was seen as a symbol of sexuality. But it had an important part to play in old folktales. Apparently old wives would always go up to pregnant mum to be, with a rose and a lily. If the mother picked the rose, she would have a little girl, but if she chose the lily, she would have a little boy.
Did you now that lilies are the May birth flower, and the 30th wedding anniversary flower. So if you’re celebrating you’re 30th wedding anniversary, or are sending a bunch of flowers to say happy birthday in May, you’ll be sure to have a smiling face.
As we know white lilies stand for chastity and virtue, but over the years new varieties and new colours have become part of the lily family. Peruvian lilies, for example, represent friendship and devotion, white stargazer lilies express sympathy and pink stargazer lilies represent wealth and prosperity.
Lilies are often associated with funerals and represent the soul of the departed that has been given the gift of restored innocence after they've died.
Due to its regal beauty and the variety in colour and type that represents a variety of meanings; lilies are also popular flowers for gifts. Among the flower bouquets of lilies, stargazer and cassablanca lilies are the most sought after bouquets around. Did you know that some lilies don’t even belong to the lily family like the day lily, the water lily and the arum lily, but people still call them lilies regardless?
What do the colours of lilies represent?
Red – love ardour and affection for loved ones
Orange – happiness, love and warmth
Pink – wealth, youth, vigour and joy
White – purity, innocence, tranquillity and humility
Yellow – merriment and playfulness.
We hope this has helped you understand this beautiful flower, and next time you want to send a bouquet, head to our website to see our full collection of gorgeous blooms for any occasion.