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The Meaning Of Red Roses: Symbolism & Gifting

What does it mean to receive or give red roses? Does the number of red roses matter? Red roses are a powerful symbol in many cultures, primarily representing love and passion.

The rich, vibrant color and exquisite beauty of red roses make them a universal symbol for deep, romantic love. Beyond romance, red roses can also symbolize respect, admiration, and courage.

In this article, we look at the meaning of giving red roses, what occasions red roses are suitable for and the meaning behind receiving different number of roses. We also explore the origin of giving red roses.

Meanings Of Red Roses

  1. Love & Romance: The most classic and widely recognized symbolism of red roses is love and romance. Red roses are often used to express deep and passionate love, making them a popular choice for romantic occasions like Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, and romantic gestures.

  2. Beauty & Perfection: Red roses are also a symbol of beauty and perfection. Their striking appearance and elegant form can represent an ideal of beauty or an admiration for physical beauty.

  3. Respect & Admiration: Giving red roses can convey respect and deep admiration for someone. It’s a way of showing profound esteem and appreciation.

  4. Courage & Congratulations: In some contexts, red roses can symbolize courage and a congratulatory message. They might be given to someone who has achieved a significant milestone or shown great bravery.

  5. Deep Emotion & Devotion: Beyond romantic love, red roses can express deep, strong emotions and a sense of devotion, whether in a romantic, familial, or even platonic context.

  6. Mourning & Remembrance: In some cultures, red roses are used to express sincere love and respect for someone who has passed away, symbolizing mourning and remembrance.

The meaning of red roses can vary depending on the context and the cultural background, but love and romance remain their most enduring and universal symbol.

What Occasions Or Events Are Red Roses Suitable For?

Red roses are versatile and timeless, making them suitable to be given on a variety of occasions and events. Some of the most common instances where red roses are given include:

  1. Valentine’s Day: Perhaps the most popular occasion for giving red roses, they are a classic symbol of love and romance on this day dedicated to expressing affection.

  2. Anniversaries: Red roses are a popular choice for anniversaries, symbolizing love, passion, and the enduring nature of a relationship.

  3. Weddings: Red roses are often used in weddings to symbolize love and passion. They are common in bridal bouquets, decorations, and as part of the overall wedding theme.

  4. Birthdays: For a romantic partner or a loved one, red roses on a birthday signify love, deep affection, and admiration.

  5. Mother’s Day: To express love and gratitude, red roses are often given to mothers, symbolizing respect and appreciation for their unconditional love.

  6. Apologies: Sometimes used to express sincere regret or to ask for forgiveness, red roses can convey a deep sense of remorse and the desire to make amends in a relationship.

  7. Funerals or Memorials: In some cultures, red roses are given as a sign of respect and love for the deceased, symbolizing grief and a deep sense of loss.

  8. Achievements and Congratulations: Red roses can also be given to celebrate achievements, milestones, or to congratulate someone on a significant accomplishment, symbolizing respect and admiration.

The use of red roses in various ceremonies and traditions highlights their versatility as a symbol of deep affection, profound respect, and enduring passion.

What Does Giving Or Receiving Different Number Of Roses Mean?

Giving different numbers of roses carries specific meanings and can convey a variety of messages in the language of flowers. Here’s a general guide to what different quantities of roses can symbolize.

  • 1 Rose: You are my one and only or love at first sight

  • 2 Roses: Represents mutual love and affection. When entwined, two roses can symbolize a marriage proposal.

  • 3 Roses: Signify a traditional one-month anniversary gift or simply “I love you.”

  • 5 Roses: Typically symbolizes appreciation and gratitude. To thank someone for their kindness, support, or significant impact in your life.

  • 6 Roses: I want to be yours.

  • 7 Roses: Giving 7 roses is commonly associated with the message of infatuation or being secretly in love with someone.

  • 8 Roses: A symbol of support and encouragement. It can be a way to express solidarity, reassurance, and deep commitment to someone, indicating that you are there for them through various circumstances.

  • 9 Roses: Symbolize eternal love, conveying the message, “I want to be with you forever.”

  • 10 Roses: You are perfect.

  • 11 Roses: Giving 11 roses typically conveys a message of deep and enduring love. It’s often interpreted as a sign that the giver is truly and deeply in love with the recipient.

  • 12 Roses: A classic number, often representing a perfect dozen, which is a common way to say, “Be mine.”

  • 13 Roses: Can have various meanings. In some contexts, they mean a secret admirer; in others, they can symbolize eternal friendship or a forever kind of love.

  • 15 Roses: Often given to apologize or express regret.

  • 20 Roses: Symbolize sincerity and belief in the relationship.

  • 21 Roses: Show commitment and a dedicated “I’m devoted to you” message.

  • 24 Roses: Represent a message of “I’m yours” or “I think of you 24 hours a day.”

  • 25 Roses: Often sent to congratulate someone on an achievement.

  • 30 Roses: Indicate a declaration of love and faith.

  • 36 Roses: Conveys enduring love with 3 dozen roses.

  • 40 Roses: Symbolize genuine love and affection.

  • 50 Roses: My love for you is unconditional.

  • 66 Roses: Nothing will change my love for you.

  • 77 Roses: You are my soul mate.

  • 99 Roses: I will love you for eternity.

  • 100 Roses: Signify a completely devoted love, often used for grand romantic gestures or marriage proposals.

  • 101 Roses: Represent the utmost devotion and commitment.

  • 108 Roses: Traditionally used in marriage proposals, meaning “Will you marry me?”

Remember, the number of roses and their meanings can vary by culture and individual interpretation. The most important aspect of giving roses is the sentiment behind them, which can be personalized to convey your unique message to the recipient.

The Origin Of Giving Red Roses

The tradition of giving red roses has deep historical roots, with its origins tracing back to ancient times and intertwining with mythology and cultural practices.

  1. Greek & Roman Mythologies: The association of red roses with love and passion is often linked to ancient Greek and Roman mythologies. In Greek mythology, the red rose was connected to Aphrodite (or Venus in Roman mythology), the goddess of love. According to one legend, red roses arose from the ground where Aphrodite’s tears fell and mixed with the blood of her lover, Adonis, symbolizing love and a union that transcends death.

    The Romans revered the rose for its beauty and scent and used it in celebrations, as decorations, and for medicinal purposes. Roses, especially red ones, were symbols of deeper emotions.

  2. Medieval and Renaissance Periods: During these times, the symbolism of roses, particularly red ones, evolved in literature and art. They were often used to convey messages of love and desire in a time when such feelings were not openly expressed. The red rose also appeared in Christian

  3. Victorian Era and the Language of Flowers: In the 19th century, the language of flowers, or floriography, became a popular way to communicate sentiments in a socially acceptable manner. Red roses were firmly entrenched as symbols of love and affection during this period.

  4. Modern Times: The symbolism of the red rose has been further popularized and romanticized in contemporary culture through literature, film, and media, solidifying its association with romantic love, passion, and beauty.

Today, red roses continue to be the quintessential symbol of love and are often used in romantic gestures, Valentine’s Day celebrations, anniversaries, and other expressions of deep affection. The long-standing tradition of giving red roses as a declaration of love is a testament to the enduring power and appeal of this beautiful flower.

To find out more, read our article about different rose colors and what they mean.


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