Easter is a time for giving, and the most important time in many denominations’ calendar. Along with eggs and bunnies, flowers play a major part in both the celebration and the gift giving of the season. There’s an almost instantly imaginable colour palette: greens, yellows, delicate pinks and purples.
All over the world, flowers become part of rites and local festivities. People are not only celebrating Easter but also the full-blown return of spring. Flowers have been integral to the celebrations around this time since long before Christianity.
In some parts of the world, Easter is a very big deal indeed, taking up to fifty days full of different celebrations and holidays. In Bulgaria, for example, there is a dedicated Flowers Day: Tsvetnitsa-Vrubnitsa. Instead of palm fronds as associated with Palm Sunday, the locals use protective willow, woven into crowns and adorning gates. Everything to do with the flowers, fields, meadows and nature’s bounty is celebrated. In England, there are many flower festivals around the country and churches tend to be bedecked just as much as for a wedding. Children make and wear flower bonnets for Easter Sunday, which is also a custom in Australia. It’s a tradition to take spring flowers to the grave of departed loved ones.
Many individual flowers have been given special significance by Christian worshippers through history, and become part of the Easter pageant. The exotic passion flower, for example, represents (unsurprisingly) the Passion of Christ. The circular pattern of petals is representative of the crown of thorns, while the stamens – three of them – denote the Trinity or the nail wounds.
Lilies, especially the pure white Madonna lily, represents pure innocence and has been associated with goddesses since ancient times. Now, Christians use it as a reminder that Jesus died in purity. This is also Passover time, so those of the Jewish faith are celebrating too.
On a more secular tack, there are certain flowers that have just become part of the Easter time decorations. Daffodils and narcissi, daisies and tulips are all in season and so perfect for bouquets, easter baskets and bonnets. So many species are in bloom in this time of the Spring, depending on when the holiday falls each year. For the gardener, a later Easter break does afford a little more choice.
Out in the gardens and in season, so avoiding a lot of flower miles, you should be able to find lots to form arrangements and bouquets. In the trees is beautiful cherry blossom, pussy willow and the flowering forsythia branch. Meadow and garden flowers will include tulips and hyacinths, daffodils and irises, lily of the valley, daisies, violets, pansies and lilies, pinks and carnations. In the woodlands and forests, you should find a blanket of bluebells and whitebells. Roses are also very popular, though not usually in bud in the wild this early in the north.
Also in season in indoor pots are smaller varieties of the above, plus azaleas, kalanchoe, Easter lilies and violets. So its time to indulge in a riot of lovely pastel colours, intertwined with ribbons and branches, making bonnets and baskets for the kids. Whatever your faith, its celebration time for Spring. Get your flowers picked, or ordered from a florist. Many now offer selections for the holiday online, so you can browse through different arrangements and bouquets, looking at all different types, colours and price ranges. Delivery should be fast and affordable, so you can ensure your home, garden or place of worship has all the flowers you could wish for.