Flowers in Russia
Hey, everybody! We are students of Khabarovsk state academy of economy and low, Marina and Elena, and we’d like to talk about interesting russian tradition – flower-giving.
You can only once visit a Russian school on the 1st of September to understand the great impact that gift-, and more importantly flower-giving has in Russia. Hundreds of pupils stand around waiting for the first bell of the year, all with bouquets of different flowers gripped tightly in their little hands. They’re doing this because it is a tradition, and their elder siblings, parents and grandparents all went through the same ritual for many years before them. Gift- and flower-giving in Russia has an incredibly deep meaning to it on account of the many years that this tradition has lived in the Russian spirit and mind.
And this tradition is not limited to the first day of school, or even major Russian holidays. There is never a wrong occasion to give flowers in Russia. Friends, who have not seen each other in several months, or even weeks, might choose to give flowers to each other upon their next meeting. A man will often give flowers and chocolates to a lady at the start of their date, just like a husband might decide to pop into a flower shop on his way back from work every now and then to surprise his wife with a floral arrangement.
Russia is well prepared for such spontaneous expression of affection. There are hundreds flower shops and stalls in the streets, offering a wide range of bouquets for every taste and occasion.
It might be difficult for a stranger to the Russian culture to understand why flowers and bouquet-giving is such an important aspect, and why it is so deeply engraved into the Russian mentality. And however, one must understand that together with being a tradition, the act of giving flowers is highly symbolic.
For example, when you choose to send a bouquet composed of only one type of flower (most commonly a composition of roses), you must take special care to send only an odd number. Any odd number (be it 1 or 1001) represents a happy occasion. This way, it is actually better to send a woman in Russia 13 roses, than it is to send 12! And what’s more, even an odd number has its specific meaning. For example, giving only 1rose you’re saying, “You’re everything I have”, or 5 flowers mean “I love you”.
Bouquets composed of even numbers of flowers usually cause very negative respond in Russia. Traditionally, even number of flowers associates with death because on the funeral people bring 4, 6, 8 flowers, not an odd number.
Another important aspect is the color. Red is considered the most classic choice, as it is suitable for any occasion, however, it is also considered a very passionate color. It’s rather strange, but yellow is often considered to be a color of separation. Pink flowers usually send to young ladies. Although the act of giving flowers is a big one in Russia, most recipients will be content with the giver’s kind gesture, and will not read too deeply into what a bouquet contains.
The most important day in gift- and flower-giving in Russia is undoubtedly the 8th of March. During this day, even people who do not ordinarily purchase flowers and gifts will buy them for every female they know. Men will give their loved ones gifts, but will also remember to give her female relatives (mother, sisters, aunts) a bouquet too.
Remember: the most important thing about any bouquet is the good intention behind it!