“What precious memories are complete without a mention to floral delights?” – Anonymous
As the quote aptly states, no pleasant memories are ever fondly recalled without the memory of a great floral arrangement. The world over, flowers are gifted and received with great joy. The beautiful country of South Korea is no exception. One of Asia’s most developed and progressive economies, this beautiful, albeit tiny nation is one that celebrates life and is deeply rooted in the past, with one eye on the future.
The Korean culture is one that is highly regimented and traditional, this makes gifting flowers in Korea , a delicate and often tricky subject. Through this guide we will help you negotiate the nuances of the meanings and rituals associated with floral tributes, so you can shower your favorite people with the flowers they deserve, without feeling awkward or committing a faux-pas.
- The Hibiscus Syriacus or Korean Rose is the national flower of Korea.
- It has a special significance to the Koreans and represents the nation’s identity on flags and other symbols.
Popular Flowers And Their Meanings
- Roses are considered exotic and beautiful and used to express feelings of love and passion.
- Lilies are considered to be sacred, pure and used in both marriage and funerary rites.
- Gerberas are thought to be playful and are great tokens of friendship.
- Daisies are great for expressing familial and filial feelings.
- Alstroemerias are flowers of kindness, gratitude, and humility.
- Tulips are exotic and used in gifting on special occasions and as gifts to important people.
- Orchids symbolize raw passion and sensuality.
Popular Flower Gifting Days In Korea
After the Korean war in the 1950s, the nation was divided along the 38th parallel. South Korea chose democracy and immediately set on a path of peace and prosperity. It’s people today are amongst the highest earners in the world. The economy is booming and celebrations and holidays are all a huge part of the life in this part of the world. Where there are celebrations, can flowers be far away? Korea is one of Asia’s largest consumers of flowers. Koreans love gifting flowers but their rather traditional approach to ceremonies, means there are subtle nuances that you should be aware of when presenting flowers to your Korean counterparts. This section of the guide deals with these subtleties and will help you effectively choose and gift flowers with elan.
The festival that commemorates the birthday of Lord Buddha, is called Chopail. This day remembers the bonds of spirituality and holiness and is celebrated with a lot of devotion. An important feature of the celebrations is the Lantern Festival. Flowers too play an important part in these celebrations. Want to make the right impression on your Korean friends? You can’t go wrong with White Roses, White Lilies and Daisies to mark the solemnity.
- Chopail is a traditional and holy festival, white flowers are the norm during such occasions, refrain from multicolored arrangements.
Most of Korea’s population is young and western oriented. This means that a holiday like Valentine’s Day is kind of a big deal. Celebrated on 14th February, the day is marked by great joy, romance, and gifting. Love is in the air and Koreans love expressing this feeling with flowers. Looking to win favor with the strange foreign beauty? Red Roses are the choice of flowers for a single flower arrangement. Looking to break away from the standard, add pristine White Lilies to the arrangement for a lovely melange.
- Team your floral offering with a plush toy and chocolates or a chocolate cake to make it even more irresistible.
- A novel gift could simply consist of a card, Teddy Bear, Chocolate Cake/Hamper.
Korea is one of the few Asian nations (along with the Philippines) to have a significant Christian population. Easter or the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor. Flowers too play an incredibly important role in these celebrations and are widely offered as both centerpieces and gifts. Roses and Lilies are the most commonly offered flowers and are wildly popular. Other flowers including Daisies, Alstroemerias are also very apt for the occasion.
- Always ensure that the flowers you choose are fresh cut as they tend to hold their shape and fragrance longer.
- A thoughtful Easter gift, especially with kids are Easter Eggs, or simply a Chocolate Cake and/or Chocolate Hamper.
Korean culture is deeply rooted in family values, and love and respect of one’s mother is an important tenet of life. Mother’s Day celebrated in the spring is an important festival that sees Koreans really going out of their way to make the holiday special for their mums. Flowers, candy, gourmet baskets and other thoughtful treats are all the rage. The floral arrangements traditionally offered on Mother’s Day include Pink Roses and Lilies. These are both symbols of familial love and affection and make really thoughtful gifts.
- When choosing flowers for Mother’s Day, unblemished, Pink and White Roses make a thoughtful gift.
- A gourmet Hamper or a Chocolate Cake is also a very popular gift on this occasion.
Christmas plays an important part in Korean life. At the end of a busy year, it is the one day when otherwise busy family members come together in rejoicing and celebration. It is, therefore, more a family occasion that is treasured and honored with great fervor and gusto. Flowers play an important role in these festivities and are extremely important as gifts. Unlike most other countries, however, the Red Rose is one of the most sought-after flowers for the festival. White flowers would also make a great contrast. So think of White Irises, Carnations and Lilies to complement the Red Rose Centerpieces.
- Book your Christmas Tree, Floral Centerpieces, and Floral Arrangements well in advance to ensure a fair price and availability.
How To Get Flowers Right For Different Occasions?
Communal, religious and secular festivals dominate Korean social life. But in a culture that treasures family above all else, occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations and even funerals bring the family together like no other. Flowers as always play an important role in these celebrations, solemnities, and occasion. Korean culture, much like the Japanese is very particular about symbolism and in this section we help you negotiate your way through the subtle nuances of gifting flowers so you won’t commit a faux-pas as a family member or honored guest. So here’s a lowdown of what’s what.
Birthdays as always are very important personal milestones in Korea. The Korean people are very particular about making the day special for the person celebrating it. Flowers and gifts, therefore are chosen with great care, and here’s where we help you get both, just right.
The flowers to go with: Based on your relation and proximity to the person celebrating the birthday, you need to wisely choose the flowers. A single flower arrangement of Red or Pink Roses symbolizes feelings of love and would be perfect for a paramour, but out of place for a friend or work colleague. With them, a conservative arrangement of Daisies, White Roses, and Gerberas is your best bet.
Combinations: Relationships also play an important role in the gifting process and as such it is best to play it safe with a gift card for acquaintances, work colleagues or casual friends. Intimate relations, like parents, spouses, and girlfriends warrant more thoughtful, intimate gifts.
Birthday Greetings: A simple, heartfelt message is the best way to go. “I wish you love, happiness and success, but above all on this most special day, I wish you the best of experiences. Have an amazing birthday and may the year be most surprising and kind to you!”
- A hand-tied floral arrangement is an artisanal take on the traditional bouquet.
- Always research the meaning of various flowers before including them in your arrangement, so as to avoid misunderstandings or embarrassment.
A wedding is a celebration of togetherness, fidelity, and love. Flowers, therefore, are the instruments of good wishes and happiness. There are a few things you need to remember when gifting flowers, so that your gift isn’t misinterpreted, leaving you feeling sheepish.
Choosing congratulatory flowers: Red and white are more than just the colors of love and purity, in Korea, they are also considered auspicious colors. So gifting Red Roses, White Daisies, Chrysanthemums, Lilies and other white flowers is the way to go.
Combinations: Wedding registries are taking root in Korea with bridal couples registering with them, in order to receive gifts of their choosing. Inquire where the couple as registered and pick out a gift according to your proximity, relationship to them and your own budget.
Wedding Greetings: Simple and elegant is the way to go: Something to the tone of, “We hope that you grow in love and trust. We wish you nothing but the very best and hope that the Almighty bless your union, now and always. Congratulations.”
- Flowers symbolizing love like Roses and Lilies are indispensable to a wedding bouquet.
- S-shaped arrangements or a high vertical arrangement is the way to go.
Funerals are a solemn occasion where people come together to bid farewell to a loved one and stand in support of the grieving family. Flowers play an invaluable part in expressing love, grief, and loss and therefore are an important component of the funerary proceedings.
Choosing flowers to offer condolence: White and Mild Pink Flowers are the most appropriate flowers for a solemnity. So think White Lilies, White or Pink Roses, and Carnations, or Chrysanthemums, as the most appropriate flowers to be offered as wreaths or sprays at funerals.
Condolence Message: A message of condolence should be written such that it acts as a pillar of strength and support to the grieving family. Something to the effect of: “We hope and pray that God gives you the strength and grace to bear this great loss. We stand firm with you and you can lean on us in this great time of need. Heartfelt condolence.”
- Wreaths and sprays are the preferred styles of the bouquet as they can be placed directly on the coffin or grave.
- While white flowers are the standard at a funeral. A loving tribute to the deceased would definitely be a bouquet or wreath of their favorite flowers.
Which Countries Does Korea Import Flowers From?
Korea is a small nation, but a big consumer of gifting flowers. While it does boast of a significant domestic production of the ever-popular Rose, Sunflower, and other breeds, a spurt in demand has led to the import of flowers from different parts of the globe. So if you’re in a flower market in any major Korean city, don’t be surprised if you’re greeted by Tuberoses from the UK and South America, Lilies from France, Spain and Italy, Wax Flowers, Alstroemeria and Sunflowers from India, China and Mexico, Tulip Bulbs from Netherlands, Chrysanthemums, Cherry Blossom and other exotic varieties from Japan, and even flowers from South Africa.
Top Tips To Consider When Buying Flowers To Gift
Local flowers are best: Local flowers are used to the climate, have a certain significance to the populace and hold their shape and freshness longer.
Researching the meaning of flowers: In one culture the Lily may be considered a mourning flower, whereas in another, the romantic aspect of the same flower may hold more importance. Depending on the culture, it is important to research the meanings of the flowers before considering gifting them, in order to avoid inadvertent disrespect or embarrassment.
Checking the overall state of the flowers: If and when possible always check the overall state of the flowers before incorporating them into your bouquet. Even the slightest of blemishes can aesthetically damage the appearance of the arrangement. Flowers with blemishes often spoil early and can be perceived as sloppy, or disrespectful.
Check the credentials of the florist/flower delivery service: Every online florist/flower delivery service is generally rated by previous users. Take the time to view the testimonials section, or visit online review sites like Yelp that will feature user reviews. Make an informed decision, in order to get the best possible quality.
How To Care For Flowers Received As Gifts?
- Choose a clear vase in order to properly display flowers.
- Add a good amount of water to the vase.
- Cut the stems regularly to keep them fresher, longer.
- Keep flowers in a cool, dry area, away from heat emitting appliances.
- Change the water in the vase daily or whenever possible.
- Follow the care instruction that comes with the bouquet.
- Add a little sugar or lemon juice to the water in the vase, to reduce the acidity of the water and provide the cut flowers with some nutrition.
Korea is a culture that is steeped in thousands of years of culture and tradition. Flowers play a deep symbolic role in the celebrations and lives of everyday Koreans and as such must be selected with care and sensitivity. But now that you’ve gone through this guide, that’s not going to be a real concern, is it?