Nowadays, one of the most popular gift choices for just about any occasion is a flower bouquet – or even a single flower itself. The tradition of floral gifts has usually been that of men being in the sender’s position, and women being in the receiver’s position (there are some exceptions, of course), but nowadays, it is quite common to see flowers as an ideal gift for both sexes. But have you ever stopped to wonder why and how did this wonderful tradition come to be? Well, to begin with, the history of floral gifts goes back to more than a couple of centuries.
Flowers have held a reputation for their beauty since the very earliest times, and the inhabitants of the Classical Ages, such as the Greeks, Egyptians and the Romans, all found flowers to be some sort of medium through which they represented the might of the gods and other supernatural beings of their myths and fables. It should be obvious that the beauty of flowers has led to individuals naturally gifting them to others, and this notion is particularly strengthened throughout the Middle Ages, but the important language of flowers, which has significantly added to the idea of gift-giving, only appears around the 1700s of the Modern Era.
It should be understood that Turkey, then the Ottoman Empire, had developed a meaning for every flower. Traditionally, historical texts attribute to the Swedish King, Charles XII, and the honour of bringing this tradition from Turkey to Europe – the king did, in fact, spend a few years in exile in the Ottoman Empire following the Great Northern War. Nonetheless, it could be surmised that the English and the French also helped to spread the idea in a similar fashion. It is the English that then gradually laid the foundations to the gift and hamper florists we see today.
The English, during the Victorian ages, developed a special association to flowers, and just as Turkey had previously done, they associated feelings, emotions and other abstract ideas to flowers. This was done in much greater detail than had been previously accomplished: the English referred to the colour, size, condition, type and even the method of presentation when giving flowers their meaning. It is these meanings that have come down to us today, and are made of use during festive occasions and even during the giving of corporate gift basket Malaysia.
Of course, nowadays, most of the old meanings conveyed by flowers are not known to most people: except for the few popularized meanings such as that of red roses and the like, the common person giving flowers today does so without the intentions of the Victorians; nonetheless, it still remains a fact that flower-giving has been a very old tradition.