What is the flower for October? For people born in this month, it is Calendula (Marigold). Some people call it the “Sun Flower” due to its ability to turn towards the rays of light. Thanks to this quality, its other names are the “sundial” or a “summer bride.” The ancient Romans believed that this flower is capable of apprising them about the beginning of the day and night, symbolizing thereby a calendar. Whence the term “Calendae,” the first day of the month, according to the Roman calendar. However, the ancient authors such as Pliny and Virgil called this flower “Caltha.”
This flower was a symbol of the stability in love. Therefore, our predecessors used Calendula to create the bouquets and wreaths. They also used it as a remedy and for the love spells. The first Christians called this flower Marigold. They decorated the statue of the Virgin Mary with the flowers of Calendula. Meanwhile, in India, the Hindus used Calendula to adorn the idols of the entire pantheon of Hindu gods.
The Slavic legend about this flower says that a boy was born to one low-income family. He was sick and weak. Therefore, people called him scallywag. But when the boy grew up, he managed to study the language of flowers and was capable of curing people. The sick people came to this young healer from every side. But one wicked man envied this guy and decided to kill him.
This man gave the healer a cup of wine containing poison. Before he died, the young man asked his relatives to bury his fingernails under the window of the ill-wisher. Later, a healing herb with the golden flowers grew up at this spot. People named this herb the “fingernails.” This term translated from Russian or any other Slavic language means Calendula since its seed indeed resembles a nail.
The Chinese wisdom says that Calendula is a flower of one thousand years, which thus symbolizes a long life. In Spain and Portugal, the name of this flower signifies a miracle or admiration. Different countries gave various names to this flower depending on its shape and color. For instance, the Germans call this flower a “circle rose” or “golden flower.” The Danes call it “morgenfrue” or “morning lady.”
The Medieval doctors supposed that the aroma of this flower allows getting rid of harmful influence. There was a belief that the oil made of Calendula helps to cure a headache, eliminate tinnitus, and remove the symptoms of inflamed eyes. One prominent German healer, Hildegard von Bingen, used Calendula to cure scab and other skin diseases.
Her treatise dated 1485 describes Calendula as the medical herb capable of healing the wounds. In the famous book titled “A lady’s companion,” author prescribed any noble woman to eat a bit of jam made of the petals of Calendula. According to his word, it was a dish for a good mood, since people used this flower as a spice. As a result, today, many cooks use the substance containing in the petals of Calendula to color cheese, oils, and soups.