Just how did red & pink become the colors of Valentine’s Day?


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Soon after the celebrations for the new year taper off, you begin to see red and pink everywhere, along with those ubiquitous heart shapes. There’s the candy, wrapped in red and pink for Valentine’s Day, and recipes for cocktails, cupcakes, and even fashion guides on how to incorporate these colors in your celebrations. And, of course, there is a bewildering variety of flowers to choose from for your Valentine.

If you’ve ever wondered why pink and red have a special significance for Valentine’s Day, carry on reading. You’ll find, as we did, that the answer lies in history, mythology, the language of flowers, and the meaning of colors. Not only is this information fascinating, but it will also help you pick the ideal bouquets for the special people in your life.

Mythology and History

Greek mythology is always a good place to start the search for answers to long-held beliefs and customs, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. In Greek myth, the color red is associated with the blood of Adonis, the god of beauty. Loved by Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty, he was slain by a jealous god. Red roses are also believed to be the flower of Aphrodite, so they came to stand for love and beauty.

In China and India, red symbolizes fertility and happiness, which is why it is the color most often worn by brides on their wedding day. The Roman feast of Lupercalia, a fertility festival that evolved into Valentine’s Day, incorporated rituals in which the shedding of blood was believed to increase fertility, establishing the link between red and fertility.

The mythical life of Saint Valentine makes another such connection from late Roman times. In one version, he defied Emperor Claudius II, who had prohibited marriages for men of military age to make them better soldiers. Saint Valentine continued wedding ceremonies in secret and was beheaded as punishment. He was later canonized by the church. And since the High Middle Ages adopted the ideal of courtly love, the day dedicated to Saint Valentine has been celebrated as a day for lovers.

Red also stands for power, energy, and action. In medieval and early modern Europe and Japan, textiles experts tell us that red dye was expensive and came to symbolize wealth and even royalty. From there, it was just a short step to making it a symbol of true love.

What About Pink?

So we have a plethora of stories about the link between red and Valentine’s Day, but what about pink? Pink is often seen as a softer and more youthful version of red and stands for young love, femininity, innocence, and purity. In addition, many of the favorite flowers for Valentine’s Day, such as roses, carnations, and tulips, come in both shades, which makes the connection even stronger.

Typically, red stands for deep, undying romantic love, while pink can symbolize love for friends, children, family, and pets. So while you can get red roses for your one true love, pink roses will be a better choice for your best friend.

The Language of Flowers

Throughout history, different cultures have used the language of flowers to speak their feelings. The iteration of the language of flowers we use today brings together flowers and colors to speak for you when words are not enough.

So while all roses symbolize love, the color of the flowers changes the meaning. Red roses stand for romantic true love and respect. Pink roses symbolize grace, joy, love for children and friends, and thankfulness.

Roses aren’t the only flowers that stand for love, though: anemones and baby’s breath also carry the meaning of everlasting love. To round out a bouquet of pink and red for Valentine’s Day, you could add carnations for fascination and mother’s love, peonies for happiness, and lilies for purity.

The Meaning of Colors

We may not be aware of it, but we react to colors unconsciously and in ways shaped by our upbringing. Colors have deep cultural meanings and significance. Historically, red has been a symbol of fertility, passion, and romance. However, it also stands for warning and danger, a useful reminder that love, like all things in life, is rarely all good or all bad.

Pink evokes positive feelings such as compassion, love, innocence, childhood, playfulness, optimism, and good cheer. Some studies even show that it can help to reduce or eliminate violent thoughts and feelings. On the other hand, depending on the shade of pink, it can be considered showy and self-centered.

Red and Pink Flowers for Valentine’s Day

Once you know the meaning of the colors and what different flowers symbolize, it’s easy to pick out the best Valentine’s Day flowers for your true love and for friends, kids, and family. Red roses symbolize true romantic love, and pink roses are a good choice for friends and younger family members.

A classic red rose bouquet includes fresh garden and classic roses and eucalyptus, for a lasting message of love and fragrance. A pink bouquet of creamy roses is ideal for a new love or a dear friend.

When choosing red and pink flowers for Valentine’s Day, mixed bouquets add to the beauty and meaning of the holiday. The rich reds of roses, ranunculus, and anemones in a bronze vase speak of love and passion.

For a pink bouquet, try pink calla lilies, apricot roses, and blush roses, all set in a golden vase that will leave your Valentine with no doubt about your feelings. This is a great choice for a romantic relationship you want to take further or a new acquaintance, where red roses do not feel quite right.

As we all know, the course of true love never runs smooth, and if you’re in one of the low patches, red and pink roses, pink lilies, and snapdragons will certainly improve your standing with your loved one. It might even win them over completely and forever, such is the power of flowers.

There are times when just words aren’t enough. Flowers in red and pink for Valentine’s Day can be eloquent messengers, so why not let them do the talking to tell your special people how much they mean to you?


This article originally appeared on UrbanStems.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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When you want to send a Valentine’s gift that makes an impact, browsing the top flower options can help you decide on the right choice with ease. Every flower type is uniquely beautiful, but each of these best Valentine’s Day Flowers has different characteristics and features that stand out. Discover which options to consider for a gift that will speak to the recipient in a powerful way.

We’re proud of our Valentine’s Day collection which contains diverse arrangements that symbolize romance in new and exciting ways. To sample what’s new, take a look at 5 of our Valentine’s Day arrangements that go beyond red roses.


Roses have a longstanding association with Valentine’s Day. They are, after all, considered the flower of love. The origins of roses as a flower that represents love and romance are believed to go as far back as ancient times when the Greek goddess Aphrodite wore these flowers. Roses were also an important part of courting rituals in the 19th century when they were given as a sign of romantic intentions. It may be well-past the Victorian era, but today roses still have that strong association with love, romance, and passion.

Express your feelings to a romantic partner or even a secret crush with roses. Besides their traditional meaning, roses also make great choices for Valentine’s Day because of their appearance. Elegant, luxurious, and sophisticated, the rose is a flower universally appreciated for its vibrant beauty. Another reason to consider sending them this Valentine’s Day? 

Their fascinating fragrance. No other flower has quite the same distinct scent as a rose. Try a bold, rose-focused bouquet like the sumptuous Double the Macchiato or The Verona. Consider a unique bouquet combining graceful roses and whimsical snapdragons in style, or free-spirit roses and delphinium.


Lilies can symbolize rebirth and renewal, innocence and joy, so they also have a natural appeal for Valentine’s Day. This flower option can show your commitment to an established relationship, celebrate a new one, or be a token of good things to come. 

Their look has a certain sophistication and elegance that still has a free, unfussy feel. They are perfect for pairing with other types of flowers, such as roses, for a unique look.

The specific type and color of the Lily can also have additional meanings. 

Choose a bouquet of exotic rose lilies to show your passion with eye-catching color. Or, turn to a sweet arrangement of white lilies to share your feelings with a bouquet bursting with pure, crisp beauty.


Symbolizing hope, love, and promise, tulips are another best Valentine’s Day flower choice to consider. Available in a wide range of vibrant and pastel colors, the tulip has the ideal blend of versatility and balance. It’s bold enough to make a statement on its own or with other flowers, but the distinctive silhouette evokes a familiar, relaxed feel. Fresh yet elegant, tulips also work well in both classic arrangements and unique bouquet styles for Valentine’s Day.

Since color options abound, you can personalize your gift further by choosing a tulip color meaning that expresses just how you feel. Popular options are bursting with color and vibrancy for the ideal gift.


With their full blooms and unique look, scabiosas add a lush look to any bouquet. A flower that means love, peace, and beauty, the scabiosa works well as an accent along with many other types of flowers, including roses, carnations, spray roses, ranunculus, and more. The delicate appearance of the petals also makes them an elegant beauty.

Soft pink scabiosas shine in a Valentine’s Day bouquet. Or consider a contrasting arrangement with burgundy scabiosas and roses like, or the luxurious appeal of scabiosas with sweet carnations and bicolor roses.


Carnations are another top Valentine’s Day flower choice that works equally well as an accent or as the star of a bouquet. The full blooms with their distinctive ruffled petals have a slightly playful look that can be enhanced by mixing different carnation colors. They are also available in the top flower colors for Valentine’s Day, from soft, sweet pinks and peaches to classic reds and whites.

Carnations add depth and beauty to an elegant and romantic arrangement and are sure to stun in a multi-colored bouquet.


With airy, delicate petals, lisianthus is another best option for Valentine’s flowers. Though they have a resemblance to roses, these flowers have a look all their own. They are popularly paired with other flowers for a complete, fresh look. Choose a bouquet that incorporates lisianthus.

This pretty bloom is popular in colors such as white, pink, purple, green, and more, you can choose a shade that’s as individual as your loved one’s personality. 


Ranunculus (also known as the Persian buttercup) is another key flower to consider for a romantic occasion because of its sheer perfection. The way the petals of the flower fit together gives them an almost surreal beauty, so why not gift an arrangement to the one you love? These are breathtaking on their own or incorporated with other flowers. They also come in an array of colors, from contemporary romantic looks to soft pastels.


Dried flowers are a unique alternative to fresh arrangements and make a Valentine’s Day gift that will last. Popular dried arrangements are artfully created with unique elements, so you can’t go wrong if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gift. Browse elegant options with a flourish of dusty pinks, or dried flowers with a bold splash of color, like red and white. Dried flowers make a romantic and thoughtful gift since they require virtually no care. 


Making the choice is the hardest part of the decision when it comes to today’s top Valentine’s Day flowers. There are styles for every taste, from simple and understated to bold and dramatic. 


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This article originally appeared on UrbanStems.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.



Featured Image Credit: Theresa Muth Photography / iStock.