Lily of the Valley: Myths & Legends
A fragrant flower that symbolizes Easter and weddings, lily of the valley is the birth flower for May. It’s also the official flower of May Day, and goes by many names. Whether it’s called May Bells, Lily Constancy, Ladder-to-Heaven, they all refer to tiny white bells cascading from delicate stems. Its scientific name is Maialis which means “belonging to May.” This perky little Spring flower is native to England, North America and Asia.
Although May Day is a celebration, legend suggests that Lily of the valley come from tears, literally. According to the story, May’s birth flower sprang from tears that Eve shed when she was expelled from the Garden of Eden. Some Christians call it Our Lady’s Tears or Mary’s Tears, a reference to Virgin Mary’s tears at Jesus’ crucifixion.
With such dramatic lore this stunning flower is a perfect gift for the people in your life with over-the-top flair. Though small, these flowers add elegance to any bouquet that is sure to leave them speechless.
Meanings & Symbolism
Since Lilies of the valley are related to the Virgin Mary, they are often associated with virtue. They are said to embody your hopes and dreams when you send them as a gift. This tiny bloom also signifies beauty, purity, virtue, humility, and is believed to bring luck in love. It even means “the return of happiness” – the reason they have became one of the most popular wedding flowers. Wives-to-be often choose bridal bouquets with lily of the valley to attract good luck and prosperity in marriage. Many newly married couples plant Lilies of the valley in their gardens as a reminder of their feelings.
Fourth most famous flower in the world
Lily of the valley is not only symbolic, it’s also ranked the fourth most famous flower in the world. It is the national flower of Finland and the floral emblem of Yugoslavia. France worships this delicate bloom. They call it the “giver of happiness” and even observe Lily of the Valley Day on May 1st.
The May birth flower is a favorite of royal brides and celebrities. Princess Astrid of Sweden, Grace Kelly, and Kate Middleton all used them in their wedding bouquets.
Lily of the valley’s heavenly smell is popular in perfumes and beauty products around the world. So if your friend isn’t fond of bouquets, you can send a spa basket or perfume with notes of lily of the valley.
If all else fails, you can make them a mix tape and add some Queen. The famous British rock band wrote a song devoted to the bloom, called “Lily of the Valley.”
If you need more inspiration for May birthday gifts look no further than this month’s birthstone. May’s birthstone is the emerald, prized for its beauty since antiquity. Its vivid green hues symbolize rebirth, just like the leafy shades of Spring reaching its peak in May.
Emeralds are rare gemstones that mostly come from Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan and Zambia. The gemstone’s value depends on its color. Emeralds with deeper, more vivid green hues are the most valuable (and expensive).
Like many gemstones, emeralds have a multitude of meanings from different cultures. In Greek mythology, emerald is the stone of the goddess of love Venus. It was said to bring passion, blessings, unconditional love, and even aid in fertility. This regal May birthstone also signifies patience and wisdom. Since ancient times, some believe it bestows the wearer with prosperity, intuition and the ability to foresee the future. Emerald also represents loyalty, friendship and faithfulness. For those born in the month of May, wearing emeralds helps to find their inner peace and protect against evil.
The gorgeous green gems have been worn as jewelry since ancient Greece and Rome. The Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra had a deep admiration and fascination for emeralds, as did Elizabeth Taylor and glamorous first lady Jackie Kennedy – who wore an engagement ring with a large emerald stone. Today, award-winning actress Angelina Jolie might be the most famous advocate for these gorgeous green gems, often wearing them on the red carpet.
Zodiac & Birth Month Flowers
Taurus (April 21 – May 21)
Stubborn and headstrong just like their Zodiac sign suggests, the mighty bull Taurus is also extremely sensual and romantic. Even though this sign has a thing for comfort and practicality, they share an equal love for pleasure and aesthetics. Gifts that cater to Taurus’s all five senses will be the most well-received. If you want to appeal to their taste buds, keep in mind that the presentation is as important as the gift itself. Pretty and practical edible bouquets made with fresh fruit, vegetables or sweets are a great choice that will please even the pickiest representative of this sign.
Earthy Taureans have a deep admiration for flowers, but tend to choose plants or long-lasting blooms over traditional bouquets. Sweet-scented lilies, extravagant planted orchids or long-lasting violets will are all great birthday gift for Taurus.
Gemini (May 22 – June 21)
The zodiac sign of the twins, multi-faceted Geminis are hard to predict. Very sociable and adaptable one day, they can be quite shy and reserved when outside their comfort zone. To prepare Gemini for any any mood, give them a savory gift basket that includes everything to suit their dualistic personality. From light snacks and fruit to fancy chocolate and sparkling wine, your Gemini will be ready for anything with such a yummy arsenal.
When it comes to flowers, mixed arrangements like those with carnations and chrysanthemums convey many sentiments and can adapt to all types of settings, just like their astrological counterparts. Traditional roses convey a wide range of meanings depending on their color, and shouldn’t be overlooked in a birthday bouquet for Gemini.
When it comes to choosing a perfect Birthday gift and flowers for your dear ones born in May, it’s important to know their tastes and background as well as their birth flower, zodiac sign and even birthstone. Only when you dig a little deeper will you find a gift that reflects their personality and makes them truly happy.
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