“Flowers are the alphabets of the language of love.” – Anonymous
Flowers are nature’s precious gifts that bring love to the heart, comfort to the soul and joy to people. People from all over the world love gifting and receiving flowers. Why then would this be any different in Russia? The world’s largest single, undivided country, Russia is a heady mix of culture, regional traditions, language, and food. From the urban metropolises of St. Petersburg and Moscow to the Siberian white outback, Russia is populated by people who love their country and love life.
Celebrations here are deeply rooted in tradition and flower gifting in Russia too comes under the same ambit. This guide’s sole purpose is to make you aware of the social customs and mores that are expected to be followed when presenting flowers.
- The national flower of Russia is the Chamomile or Matricaria Recutita.
- It is immensely popular for its heady, fruity fragrance and grows wild pretty much everywhere.
Popular Flowers And Their Meanings
- Roses are prized in Russia for their rarity and as symbols of love.
- Lilies are revered as flowers of purity and rebirth.
- Gerberas are prized for their color and the joy they bring.
- Daisies are flowers humility, understanding, and friendship.
- Alstroemerias are flowers of kindness, warmth, and family.
- 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 Russia
Unlike Brazil or a Latin American country, celebrations and fiestas aren’t always the most enduring images one has of Russia. And while the bitter cold of the Russian tundra may paint a sheet of snow on the land, one must never underestimate the spunk and Joie de vie of the Slavic people. They are a joyful lot and believe in celebrating life and love and everything in between. Little wonder then that they love their flowers and are insistent on using them in all celebrations. So this section takes you through the most important Russian holidays and the flowers that are considered to be appropriate as gifts for these occasions.
The Russian people follow the Eastern Orthodox branch of Christianity. Unlike Roman Catholicism or many forms of Protestantism, Orthodox Christianity doesn’t subscribe to 25th December as the birth date of Christ, instead, they celebrate Christmas on 7th January. While the dates vary, the enthusiasm and solemnity of the occasion aren’t diminished in any way. In fact, Russian families come together and celebrate the day with great fervor and joy. Christmas bouquets are beautiful gifts and consist of Roses and Lilies in Red and White, both colors of the season. Poinsettia Plants and Wreaths are also extremely important.
- Russian winters are long and brutal. Ensuring that you book your floral arrangements well in advance, therefore, is the right thing to do, simply in order to make sure they reach your near and dear ones.
Valentine’s Day in post-Communist Russia is a sight to behold. Flowers, presents, and the public expressions of love and fidelity between couples of all ages is just an amazing, heartwarming sight. And what better way is there to fete your love, than with a beautiful floral arrangement. Well, when in any major Russian city, pining for the heart of a pretty lady, you can always count on Red Roses, Carnations and pristine White Lilies to express what your words cannot. A thoughtful box of Chocolates and a Teddy will add to the gift, in fact completing it.
- Think of reserving your bouquet or flower combo in advance. Prices tend to soar around Valentine’s Day and it would be embarrassing if you couldn’t procure your significant other flowers and a gift.
- Adding a Teddy, Chocolate Cake, Chocolate or Gourmet Hamper is a lovely thought.
The Russian people are a devout lot and religious festivals are always celebrated with devotion and faith. Easter is one of those festivals. It marks the end of the season of Lent and signifies Jesus’ triumph over death. This also marks the end of mourning and abstinence. Easter Sunday is celebrated by Russian families with a get-together, good food, and gifting. Flowers are an important part of this gifting. Popular arrangements for Easter include Roses and Tulips. Other combinations also include Easter Eggs, Candies, Chocolates and Easter Hampers.
- 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/ Gourmet Hamper.
Women’s Day is celebrated on the 8th of March and is an important holiday that marks the accomplishments of women, across all walks of life. Gifting flowers on this day to the women in your life is both thoughtful and appropriate, but there are a few things to keep in mind. If you’re gifting a spouse or lover, Red Roses and White Lilies are perfectly acceptable. For mothers, friends and office colleagues it is advisable to go for a Gerbera themed bouquet so that your intentions are not misunderstood.
- On this day always contemplate your relationship to the woman you’re gifting the bouquet in order to get it just right.
Mothers the world over are loved, treasured and respected. Russians also value their matriarchs and at no other time of the year is it more evident, than on Mother’s Day. The day is celebrated with gifts, cards, sweets, treats, dinners, and flowers. Flowers for the most important woman in a child’s life have to be special, and very thoughtfully chosen. Roses, Lilies, and Carnations are wildly popular as gifts during this most special day. A wine hamper also makes a fantastic addition to the proceedings.
- When choosing flowers for Mother’s Day, unblemished, Pink and White Roses make a thoughtful gift.
- A Wine / Chocolate Hamper is also a very popular gift on this occasion.
How To Get Right Flowers For Different Occasions?
Russians are a very proud, yet very celebratory people. Every small event in life is cherished and celebrated. A Russian enjoys celebrating his/her birthday as much Christmas or Easter and as such flowers are a huge part of personal celebrations as well. Some basic rules need to be followed when purchasing and gifting flowers to your Russian friends, family and business contacts for their special days. Let’s take a closer look at these in this section.
Russians celebrate their birthdays with great enthusiasm and fondness. People go to great lengths to make the celebrant feel special and loved. Of course when you’re invited to a Russian’s birthday party, showing up without flowers is a huge NO-NO. So here is the skinny on how to pick flowers and gifts appropriately.
The flowers to go with: Always gift flowers based on your relationship with the celebrant. Red and Pink Roses for spouses and girlfriends. White Roses, Lilies, Daisies and Gerberas for family members and a multicolored floral arrangement for friends, colleagues, and acquaintances is the way to go.
Combinations: Going on your proximity to the birthday boy/girl, and your relationship to him/her, look for more intimate presents like jewelry for spouses and partners, books, or gift certificates for friends, and perfumes or accessories for family members.
Birthday Greetings: Simple and heartfelt, that’s what a birthday greeting ought to be: “On your special day, I wish nothing but good things for you, love, success and happiness, but above all the company and favor of good friends. Happy Birthday.”
- 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 in Russia generally follows the Christian format of a nuptial and get together. This means that flowers are a huge part of both celebrations. Flowers must be chosen with a lot of love, care and attention to detail. Here are a few tips on helping you get your flower selection for this occasion, just right.
Choosing congratulatory flowers: Think color, think Roses in all their hues, Daisies, Lilies and Chrysanthemums, even Gerberas and Sunflowers are sought after and prized as wedding gifts and tokens of love and congratulation.
Combinations: Bridal registries are quite common in Russia and you can inquire about where the couple has registered and pick one out for them, based on your relationship and budget.
Wedding Greetings: Heartfelt, sincere and stylish is the way to go. “We bear witness to the love you pledge each other today. We pray that God blesses you with the best of things both material and emotional and above all else, continues to bless your love. 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 never easy. With a loved one’s passing and the bereaved family’s grief in full view, one needs to be sensitive and strong both at once. Flowers are perfect to show solidarity with the bereaved family, and also to console them for their loss.
Choosing flowers to offer condolence: White is the color of peace, rebirth, and purity. An all-white arrangement with White Roses, Lilies, White Daisies or Chrysanthemums makes for a beautiful and heartfelt tribute to the deceased.
Condolence Message: A message of condolence should be written in a tone that reflects your grief and support for the bereaved family. Something to the effect of: “In life, he/she filled your days with smiles and memories to last a lifetime. We pray that he/she experiences eternal rest and that God blesses you with the strength to bear this great loss. Heartfelt condolences.”
- 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 Russia Import Flowers From?
Russia is one of the world’s largest countries and obviously the demand for flowers is also immense, meaning that Russia’s horticulture industry cannot possibly cater to it all by itself. This means that it becomes a great market for export. Russia’s imports come in from all over the world and as such, Tulips from The Netherlands, Roses from the UK, South American countries like Ecuador, Chile and Peru are commonplace. Other major contributors to the Russian flower market include India, the US, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Turkey, and others.
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 and 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.
Celebrating life and making up for the lack of a long enough summer, are the two things that Russians are famous for. Flowers in all their glory are an indelible part of this attitude and once you’ve mastered gifting them in accordance to the social customs, you can be a part of these festivities and this lifestyle just like a local.