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Legends behind Flowers - Lilies

Have you ever thought about how flowers come to be symbolic of various themes, and how these themes came to be in existence in the first place?

This is going to be the first in a series of blog entries looking into the myths and legends behind some of the most well-known flowers.

As the flower most artists and poets agreed upon as having a soul, we will begin with the lily.

According to Greek mythology, the goddess Hera, wife of Zeus was nursing her son Hercules when excess milk fell from the sky. Not only did this created the Milky Way, but a few drops also made their way to earth, from which sprang the first lilies. This may be the inspiration for the Greek poets choice of lily as a symbolism for tenderness.

Roman legends also suggested that Venus became jealous of the whiteness and beauty of a lily and thus caused the appearance of the hideous looking pistil in the middle of the flower's pure white center.

Moreover the recognition of lilies as a symbol for purity and chastity originated in Christianity, where white lilies were said to have be found growing in the Garden of Gethsemane after the Christ's crucifixion from where drops of Christ's sweat fell to the ground from the cross.

Another legend said that lilies grew from tears of repentence which were shed by Eve when she left the Garden of Eden. Lilies were also commonly associated with the Virgin Mary and the Annunciation, commonly illustrated in scenes of the angel's visit to Mary. The lily represents the Annunciation, emblematising her body as the white petals, and the soul as the anther.

Inspired to decorate your home or send your love with some beautiful white lilies? I think these would be my personal favourites!

Prepared by Tracy, posted by Bob


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