Have you started to plan out your New Year’s Resolution yet? We here at KaBloom are already hard at work planning ours, and one of them is to keep learning about flowers and their importance across the globe. Flowers are more than just a pretty addition to any situation. Did you know that they play a vital role in so many cultures’ New Year’s celebrations?
In Brazil, part of the widespread New Year’s festivities is a celebration of Iemanjá, a goddess of the sea. According to tradition, people go to the beach to honor her and ask for good fortune for the year. To honor Iemanjá, people throw gifts into the water or send them to sea in small boats in tribute. One of the main offerings is white Roses and Gladiolus, hoping to start the year off with a clean slate. The tradition continues to explain that if your offerings go out to sea, Iemanjá has accepted your tribute and will grant your wishes, but if they come back to shore, you have to wait until next year to try again!
The Chinese New Year, which usually falls somewhere between late January and early February, brings some of the grandest celebrations! And, to decorate the celebrations, flowers, one of the most popular arrangements, are used! The celebration’s main colors are red to show joy and scare evil spirits and gold to celebrate fortune. Sunflowers, Daffodils, Chrysanthemums, and Azaleas are common flowers used in these celebrations, bringing feelings of prosperity into homes. Flowers play such a significant role in these celebrations that it seems like the Chinese New Year would be lost without these flowers supporting the nation’s traditions.
The Vietnamese New Year signals the start of spring, and usually falls on the same day as the Chinese New Year. Their New Year celebration is one of the few that uses a New Year Tree! Often, a bamboo tree, or even just a branch, is decorated with flowers, charms, and streamers to frighten off bad spirits. People also decorate their homes with bright flowers, like marigolds, to symbolize longevity, and fruit blossoms, to symbolize fertility for the upcoming year. Here, the flowers’ symbolism seems just as intertwined with the celebration as the Chinese New Year, yet both cultures’ vibrant celebrations show the importance of nature.
New Year’s in the United States brings resolutions and large celebrations. While flowers might not seem to play a big role in the day, there still is a giant use of flowers that almost everyone knows: the Rose Parade! Taking place as part of the Rose Bowl, the parade features giant floats covered in an exciting array of flowers. This tradition started when people decorated their horse-drawn carriages, but it has developed into a procession of elaborate floats covered in fresh flowers that create a stunning visual. The flowers unfortunately don’t have as much meaning like other cultures, but it still creates quite the spectacle.
You didn’t really think of New Year’s being a flower holiday until now, did you? This is just a glimpse into the rich and vibrant cultures of the world that happen to use flowers prominently in their New Year’s celebrations. We find it fascinating that flowers, which may seem like a simple part of everyday life, have such deep-rooted importance in so many cultures. Happy New Year’s from KaBloom, and we resolve to keep you in the loop, so check back for more updates!