THE WHITE ROSE – HISTORYMAY 3, 2013
THE WHITE ROSE IN HISTORY:
Symbols of love, beauty, peace, war, and politics, the colorful history of the rose has long intrigued the imagination of mankind. According to fossil evidence, the rose has been around for 35 million years.
In nature, the genus Rosa has some 150 species spread throughout the Northern Hemisphere, from Alaska to Mexico and including northern Africa. Garden cultivation of roses began some 5,000 years ago, probably in China. During the Roman period, roses were grown extensively in the Middle East. They were used as confetti at celebrations, for medicinal purposes, and as a source of perfume. Roman nobility established large public rose gardens in the south of Rome.
During the 16th and 17th century, the Ottoman Empire controlled vast lands in the Mediterranean basin and was the center of Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. Meanings of roses originated during this time period, when Persian women used roses as symbols to communicate and express emotion as written language was forbidden.
The white rose, the oldest rose, is an ancient symbol of pure love and peace. White roses express feelings of love, friendship, peace, respect and hope.
During the 20th Century the white rose has been a symbol of peace. During Nazi wartime in Germany a non-violent intellectual resistance movement was started – named The White Rose. Links: Wikipedia.
Peace Accords were signed and Guatemala in 1996 after 36 years of Civil War, this marked a new chapter in its history. Since then, every day a White Rose is placed on the Peace Courtyard of the National Palace, marking another day of Peace. Links: Guatemala White Rose of Peace
If you have more information on the history, myths and legends of the white rose in relation to peace, please contact us with the details so we can include it here.
THE WHITE ROSE IN MYTHS AND LEGENDS:
There are plenty of myths and legends behind the white rose. As one myth has it, the first rose on Earth was a white rose, and it miraculously transformed to other hues. The pure white rose was said to have been tainted by blood, making it red; and it was also made to blush from a kiss, making it pink.
Another myth came from the Ancient Greeks. It was said that roses were originally white until one day Aphrodite the Goddess of Love and Beauty pricked herself with the thorns of a rose. The blood that dripped from her finger turned the white roses red.
These myths indicate the loss of innocence, which is the absolute opposite of what the white rose symbolizes – innocence and purity.