Why Are Red Roses Considered a Symbol of Love?

Why Are Red Roses Considered a Symbol of Love?

The traditional Valentine’s Day, anniversary, or just-because flower. A single stem or an extravagant bouquet. Red roses are gorgeous flowers that directly correlate with romance and love, but how did this begin? Why are red roses considered a symbol of love? Continue reading for two stories from the past that explain why the world views roses the way we do.

The Goddess of Love

Aphrodite, the goddess of love, is the source for one of the first tales of red roses as a symbol of love and passion. She fell in love with a hunter named Adonis. Aphrodite warned him to be careful when out in the wild, for the animals may harm him. Suddenly, a wild boar attacked Adonis and killed him.

Aphrodite ran through the forest to her dying lover. The legend says that as she ran, a thorn from a rose pricked her foot, causing Aphrodite to bleed. Her blood turned a white rose into a red rose. As she cried over Adonis, her tears splashed to the ground, and more red roses bloomed.

Her passion for Adonis blended with her blood. As it fell into the earth, the roses grew to be a symbol of Aphrodite’s unconditional love. Even after her lover passed, Aphrodite’s love lived on.

Christianity and the Virgin Mary

A symbol of love, purity, compassion, and innocence. In Christianity, roses became a symbol of the Virgin Mary. Extending back to the third century AD, many people believed the Garden of Eden was abundant with thornless roses. From the original sin, the garden grew thorns on its roses.

Christianity describes the Virgin Mary as the “rose without thorns” because of her purity and lack of sin. Images depict Mary holding a rosary or a garland of roses. Stained glass windows illustrate her standing before rose bushes.

However, in this story, roses aren’t necessarily a true representation of romantic love. Nonetheless, roses continue to symbolize the type of love that encompasses generosity and compassion.

In the present day, roses are the perfect flowers to celebrate an anniversary and offer as a gift to others to show your love and affection. It’s a tradition that continues to impact the modern-day world of romance.

Both stories depict an eternal symbol of love. Now that you know a little more about why red roses serve the purpose they do today, you have a better understanding of the meaning behind gifting red roses to your loved one on the next occasion.

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