Gold, White and Blue – the flowers of Easter!

Lily1I ventured out to buy some simnel cake today, taking my camera with me in the hope of seeing some flowers. There’s lots of winter pansies huddled bravely on neighbours’ windowsills but they don’t count.  I’m after some spring flowers, Easter flowers! 

The daffodils are just about to bloom but there’s no Wordsworth gold as yet.  I know there are snowdrops and crocuses too but they are buried under a layer of snow that refuses to melt even in the sunshine. 

LILIES

Back home with my simnel cake I look through my archives to see which flowers are most associated with Easter. I think Lilies top the list. I remember seeing enormous bunches of them in the church back home, their white petals standing out against the red of the damask on the wall.  Their perfume was so heavy it used to make us kids dizzy.

According to legend, the first Easter lilies sprang out of the ground as Jesus walked across Joseph of Arimathea’s garden after the resurrection. They’re shaped like bells, ready to peel out the good news! The smaller lily-of-the-valley was formed out of the tears, Jesus’ mother shed under the cross.

forget-me-not-104-pFORGET-ME-NOT

The humble forget-me-not too has its own little piece of folklore.  According to first century hagiographers, Jesus spotted the flower in the Garden of Gethsemane the day before the crucifixion. He smoothed out its pale blue petals and begged, ‘forget me not, forget me not’, so giving it its popular name.

DAFFODILS

Yet another flower legend is told about the daffodil, which is sometime called the Lent or Easter Lily.  It was in full bloom when Jesus arrived for his last supper with the disciples.  Seeing he was scared and apprehensive of the night to come, it glowed to cheer him.  Jesus touched the flower and its shape changed to resemble that of the cup, the chalice, he was about to drink from.

I don’t remember seeing daffodils in church at Easter when I was a child.  Perhaps because of Wordsworth’s famous poem, I always assumed they were  native to Britain.  In fact it turns that daffodils are originally Mediterranean flowers, brought to Britain by the ancient Romans.  Those Romans always feature in the best stories.  Felix Pascha!

Daffodils

You might also like:

Easter posts:

The Dogwood Tree – another legend for Good Friday

Song of the Swallow – a legend about Good Friday

One ha’ Penny, Two ha’ Penny – the folklore of Hot Cross Buns

Flower posts:

If You Go to the Bluebell Woods Tonight – Bluebells in fairytales

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4 Comments

Filed under Fairy Tale posts, Festival Posts

4 responses to “Gold, White and Blue – the flowers of Easter!

  1. The snow melted just enough for my crocuses to re-emerge for Easter – and the first daffodil opened! Happy Easter!

    • No sign of colour up here at all. Wondering if the snow has ruined my hortensias too.

      • There’s a theory that a blanket of snow protects plants from frost but a lot of my daffodils have been squashed by it. I brought some inside though and popped them in a vase and they’ve flowered, which is nice.

      • I scoured my backyard for something to bring in but had to give up. Went to ASDA and got some bunches of tulips. Cleared the snow off my carnations and snapdragons and they almost look the better for having been under it, so there might be something in the frost theory. We had better get some nice sunshine soon to make up for this cold.

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