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lilac flower meaning
The meaning of the lilac flower has diversified throughout the ages. Lilacs originated in Southeastern Europe and are a popular part of the Mediterranean culture. They are frequently associated with the Easter holiday, which occurs during the peak of its bloom time.
- The Celtics regarded the lilac as “magical” due to their incredibly intoxicating fragrance.
- During the Victorian Age, the giving of a lilac was meant to be a reminder of an old love. In fact, widows were often seen wearing lilacs during this period.
- And Russia, holding a sprig of lilac over the newborn would bring wisdom.
- In the United States, the lilac is the official state flower of New Hampshire and represents the ‘hardy’ nature of its people.
lilac flower symbolic
In the language of flowers, lilacs hold the symbolic meaning of the joy of youth. They’re also a common symbol of love, and in many regions of the world, symbolize Easter or the changing of the season to spring. In Walt Whitman’s When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d, the poet uses the blossoms as a symbol of confidence.
Symbolism of Lilac
The 8th wedding anniversary flower and the state flower of New Hampshire (symbolizing the hardy character of the Granite State’s citizens), lilacs are frequently considered a harbinger of spring, with the time of their bloom signaling whether spring will be early or late. In the language of flowers, purple lilacs symbolize the first emotions of love, while white lilacs represent youthful innocence.
The botanical name of the lilac flower is Syringa vulgaris. This flower belongs to the genus that has a name Syringa. The name lilac comes from Spain and France. In Persian and Arabic language the word lilak is used to determine the lilac flower. As you can see, all those names are very similar.
However, it is also important to mention that in old Sanskrit language the word that was used for the lilac flower was nilah. This word had the meaning of dark blue color that is one of the colors typical for the lilac flower. It is believed that all words for the lilac flower come originally from the word nilah.
Even though there are different names for the lilac flower all over the world, the symbolism of this flower is always the same.
You will see below something about the most common symbolic meanings typical for the lilac flower.
Characteristics of the lilac flower
Lilac is a classic garden shrub that can grow up to 6 ft. You can also grow it as a tree, which will then grow up to 32 ft. Lilac has broadly oval green leaves. The cone-shaped flowers consist of four lobes and usually blooms in pink or in lilac colors. The plant’s name comes from its color. Different lilac species bloom from spring to summer, and from summer to autumn.
You can grow lilac as a single tree, or in clusters or shrubs. It is also a very popular choice to form hedges around houses. Thanks to its thick foliage, a lilac hedge is a great way to protect your privacy. In addition to that, lilacs are a very common choice in floral bouquets. The beautiful lilac flowers also attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
Lilac flowers give off a wonderful and unique fragrance that you can’t compare to anything else. It is very easy to maintain and grow lilacs. That’s why we can often find them on avenues, public parks, highways, or on the roadsides.
The meaning of lilac flowers can also depend on their colors. If you would like to understand what the lilac flower that you have received can symbolize, you need to know the meaning of its color first.
When we say the lilac flower, it is clear that the main color that is typical for this flower is lila or violet. This type of the lilac flower is a symbol of spirituality and it can give you important instructions related to your spiritual journey.
If you received lilac flowers in violet color, it has something to do with spirituality and you should think thoroughly of this flower and its symbolism. A violet lilac flower can also remind you of your first love and first love experiences. A dark purple lilac is also related to your spiritual life.
It is also possible to find a white lilac flower. This flower is a symbol of purity, so very often it has something to do with your childhood. We can also say that a white lilac flower symbolizes innocence. Because of all those facts, the lilac flower is usually used for wedding decorations, but also for births and other important events.
There is also a blue lilac flower that is a symbol of tranquillity and calmness. This flower can be a symbol of happiness and joy as well.
Another color that is typical for the lilac flower is pink. A pink lilac flower is a symbol of friendship and love, so if you see it, you will know that you will spend a lot of time with your friends and love persons in the future.
A magenta lilac flower can symbolize passion and love as well. This flower will also symbolize positive energy and optimism that will have a positive influence on your life.
After seeing all those facts related to the lilac flower and its characteristics, you are going to find out what message may be hidden in this flower.
Meaning and Symbolism of Lilac in Art
The lilac is popular in various works of art, and has gained various associations. Here are some of them:
- First Emotions of Love – The symbolic meaning of the bloom is evident in the painting Apple Blossoms, also known as Spring, by John Everett Millais in 1859. It depicts a group of young girls in an apple orchard, where one of them has lilac flowers in her hair. Many believe that the flower signifies the girl’s first emotions of love.
- Youthful Innocence – In the novel David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, the beautiful and naive girl named Dora stands under a lilac tree, when Copperfield gave her a bouquet of flowers. This can be said to emphasize her youthful innocence and lack of experience.
- Memory – In Victorian times, when flowers were used to express messages, lilac could be interpreted as saying, “Remember me,” which makes it a perfect reminder of a young love. It’s also a sincere way to ask, “Do you still love me?” It’s thought that when lilacs are burned, their fragrance will endure in the smoke, reminding you of sweet, special memories.
- Beauty and Pride – These blooms are ethereal and fragrant, making them the perfect representation of beauty.
- Other Meanings – In some contexts, the flower can also be associated with humility, fraternal love, and even disappointment.
What is the Cultural Significance of the Lilac?
The lilac has a deep history that is, as with many flowers, rooted in Greek mythology. The myth goes that Pan, the god of fields and forests, fell hard in love for the nymph Syringa. Syringa was eventually forced to turn herself into a lilac shrub to protect and disguise herself from Pan’s advances.
Although Pan was unable to locate Syringa, he did, of course, find the shrub. He cut the reeds of the shrub and created the first original panpipe from these reeds.
A deeply-rooted part of Mediterranean culture, lilacs are believed to have originated in southeastern Europe. They are often associated with the Easter season,
as they bloom during this time.
What is the Cultural Significance of the Lilac?
The Celts believed that the lilac had magical powers due to its overpowering fragrance, while the Victorians thought that giving someone a lilac indicated an old, often bygone love. Widows frequently wore the flowers to commemorate their lost husbands.
Russians believed that holding a lilac blossom over a newborn could help bring the child lasting wisdom, while in the United States, the lilac flower is the state flower of New Hampshire. Here, it’s often used to symbolize the tough, hardy nature of its people.
The lilac is a flower that has truly stood the test of time through art and poetry. The American poet Walt Whitman frequently references lilacs in his poems, and makes a special testament to the flower in his poem, “When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom’d,” a poem in which the lilac serves as a symbol of life after death in Abraham Lincoln’s final days.
Lilacs obviously have significant cultural meanings and influences. However, they also carry a few interesting facts. Interestingly, lilacs are part of the olive tree family. This is perhaps another reason they are so favored in the Mediterranean. Lilacs are the official flower for the 8th wedding anniversary. So remember to include this as a gift to your spouse when you celebrate that very special occasion.
You may recognize the fragrance of lilacs in many cosmetics and perfumes. It is also a popular scent for bubble baths and bath bombs. Lilacs are also pressed into essential oils. Their oils have been used as remedies for skin disorders and bacterial infections. Lilacs are also popular for aromatherapy. It is said that their fragrance is helpful to promote relaxation and fight symptoms of depression.
Lilacs are quite well-liked in both garden decor and when used in bouquets and arrangements. They are beautiful, fragrant spring flowers that are appropriate gifts for just about any occasion. Consider planting one in your garden today and experience the beauty for yourself.