People have found meanings in flowers throughout history. Flowers are a part of our lives from birth to death, and they're a symbolic presence at nearly every major event in cultures worldwide, whether an English wedding, the birth of an Indian baby or an Egyptian funeral. Jasmine, the "queen of flowers," is a prime example of this tradition. This simple flower with an intoxicating fragrance has spread from India to the rest of the world, and many cultures attach special meaning to it. A little digging will reveal all the ways you can use jasmine to convey your feelings.
Use Jasmine as a religious offering or altar decoration. It is the symbol of divine hope in the Hindu religion. The Balinese people plant jasmine in their public and private temples. Also, the Siwaratrikalpa, an ancient Javanese text, states that jasmine should be used as an offering to Ciwa, the native Javanese name for God. A common girl's name, it comes from ancient Persian and means "gift from God."
Use jasmine as a symbol of love and romance. Sampaguita, a variety of jasmine, comes from the Pilipino words "sumpa kita," in English, "I promise you." Couples once upon a time exchanged sampaguita necklaces just as a today's couples give wedding rings. A traditional Asian belief is that jasmine penetrates the soul and opens up emotions. In ancient Egypt, Cleopatra used jasmine oil to seduce Anthony. It is still a favorite ingredient in perfumes all over the world.
Use jasmine as the Victorians did. In Victorian Britain, jasmine was a fragrant symbol of amiability, cheerfulness, grace and elegance. While other cultures see jasmine as a symbol of sensuality and romance, Victorians used it as a complement to shyness and modesty. It was seen as a fragrant and cheering part of any flower arrangement and was valued because of the difficulty of growing it in a cold climate.
Things You Will Need
- Jasmine flowers