The month of May is associated with May Day and the beautiful season of spring, symbolising nature’s resurrection from the gloomy winter months. It is the month of blooming flowers, and each month has a birth flower.
Birth flowers are associated with a person’s birth month and are believed to have symbolic meanings. May has two birth flowers, the Lily of the Valley and the Hawthorn. This article will explore the history, symbolism, and meaning behind these birth flowers.
The History of Lily of the Valley
The Lily of the Valley is a delicate and fragrant flower admired for centuries. It has a long history of use in literature, mythology, and medicine. In Greek mythology, the flower was said to have sprung from the tears of the goddess Maia, while in Christian lore, it is associated with the Virgin Mary.
Traditional medicine has also used the flower for its diuretic and cardiac stimulant properties. Lily of the Valley is native to Europe and has been cultivated for centuries for its beauty and fragrance.
It is a popular choice for wedding bouquets and is the birth flower for the month of May. Despite its beauty, Lily of the Valley is poisonous and can be dangerous if ingested.
The Symbolism of Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley is often associated with the Virgin Mary and is considered a symbol of purity and innocence. It has been used in Christian religious ceremonies to represent the purity and holiness of the Virgin Mary.
The flower’s delicate size and downward-facing blooms are often interpreted as a symbol of humility and modesty. Its simplicity and unassuming nature are also seen as a representation of the virtue of humility.
The History of Hawthorn
Hawthorn, or the May tree, is a fragrant flowering shrub native to Europe, Asia, and North America. Used for centuries for its medicinal properties, it was also believed to have supernatural powers and was used in pagan rituals.
Associated with the legend of the Holy Grail in the Middle Ages, the hawthorn was a symbol of hope and renewal. Its name originates from the Old English word “hagathorn,” meaning “hedge thorn,” as it was used to create hedges to protect livestock and property.
The Symbolism of Hawthorn
- Hope and Resilience
Hawthorn is also seen as a symbol of hope and resilience. The tree is known for its ability to survive in harsh environments and is often used as a metaphor for human strength and endurance. In times of difficulty, hawthorn is seen as a reminder that hope and resilience are possible.
- Love and Protection
It has a long history of association with love and protection. During the Victorian era, hawthorn flowers were often given as gifts to express love and affection. The tree was also believed to have protective powers and was used to ward off evil spirits.
Birth flowers have been a part of human culture for centuries and are still celebrated today. The Lily of the Valley and Hawthorn are the birth flowers of May and have rich histories and symbolic meanings.
The Lily of the Valley symbolises purity, humility, and sweetness, while the Hawthorn symbolises fertility, hope, and new beginnings. Whether given as a gift or used in religious ceremonies, these flowers continue to bring joy and beauty to the world.
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