« Where will you spend your holiday? | Main | The way we celebrate holidays »

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!


Traditions ertainly are wonderful :)
I just have to ask, who does the children give their bouquets to (because if they give them to each other then where are the flowers stored during the school day) and is it because it's the international woman day that you give flowers and presents during march 8 or is it some other Russian holiday?

Here in Sweden, I think it's more common to only give gifts and flowers on birthdays, Christmas and Valentine.

Funny about the colours to, because in the "flower language" here, a yellow flower is for friendship, a white it for longing/unanswered love, and the other colours match what you said.

(Living in an old plant school, I find flower topics rather interesting ;) )

This Russian flower giving tradition is certainly wonderful.

Even better, I like what you mentioned about the symbolic nature of flower giving.

Thank you for your comments! We are glad that you liked our entry.
We answer your questions, Helena. It’s tradition that children give their bouquets to teachers. And during the first school day bouquets are everywhere =))
Yes, on the 8th of March international women day is celebrated in Russia. This is one of the most favorite holidays in our country. Every woman gets present, and beautiful bouquet is a wonderful way to make her a little happy =))

Ive only got a month left to go, until my little baby boy is born. I can feel my nesting instincts kick in.

The mother day is always a special day. In the World Wide Web are many ideas for presents, but I think flowers are the best. Other gifts do not have the same expressive strength.

Post a comment