What is the birth flower for February? According to the contemporary charts, it is Violet, an ambiguous flower, according to the ancient Greek mythology. On the one hand, this flower is a symbol of grief and sorrow due to the kidnapped daughter of Zeus. On the contrary, Violet is a symbol of the reborn spring. The ancient Greeks decorated their homes and the statues of gods with Violets. There was a custom that prescribed to the 3-year-old kids to wear a wreath of Violets around the head as a symbol of their soon adulthood.
The Romans used this flower as a medicinal herb. They added Violets inside a glass of wine, calling this mixture the “spring drink.” Priests of all religions used this flower during the sacred rituals and ceremonies. The archeologists discovered various coins containing the imprints of the images of Violet.
In Germany, the ancients celebrated that day when they find the first Violet, as this flower symbolized the beginning of spring for them. According to their custom, a guy who was first who managed to find this flower could receive the best chance to marry the most beautiful girl. Violet of the ancient Gauls symbolized the innocence, modesty, and virginity. They covered the marriage bed with the petals of Violet. In the Medieval France, the knight, who won a tournament, received this flower as a prize that he after could present to his beloved.
There is a belief that Violet played a significant role in the life of Empress Josephine. This flower was a symbol of the retrieved freedom for the Empress. The legend tells that Josephine has got in jail and waited for her execution. She has almost lost hope to escape. But a young daughter of the prison guardian brought a bouquet of violets to her cell. As a result, a glimpse of hope arose inside her heart. And the foreboding had not deceived the Princess. Since she always kept a bouquet of Violets in her hands. Even during the royal ceremonies, when each lady wore luxury jewelry, the Empress only adorned her head with a tiara of Violets.
The Ancient and Modern Attitude
Many ancient authors have been writing about the healing properties of Violet. Among them, we can mention Pliny and Paracelsus, as the most prominent personalities. But the most interesting mention about this magical flower we can read in the treatise “On the properties of herbs” by Odo of Mena dated the 11th century. He devoted the entire chapter of his work to Violet. “Rose by its beauty and Lily by its shine are not the rivals to Violet in its aroma and fragrant,” he wrote. Violet was a prominent flower for the medieval and modern authors alike. For instance, William Shakespeare called Violet his favorite flower. Goethe dreamed of seeing his hometown Weimar drowning in Violets.
Emperor Wilhelm loved Violet very much. Every day, during the breakfast, at any time of the year, he surrounded himself by the bouquets of fresh Violets. Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm decorated a portrait of his last wife, Louise, with Violets. The rumor has it that this picture appeared to him in a vision when he found the Order of the Iron Cross, the highest award for bravery.