Victorians might have been considered obsessed with the symbolism of flowers in their time! Flowers were used to express their feelings and roses were symbols of the most intimate, passionate types of love.
And now, Rose Day is here to bring even more meaning to these expressions of love!
History of Rose Day
The cultivation of roses seems to have begun thousands of years ago in China. Even the master Asian philosopher and politician, Confucius, was enamored by roses and wrote about how he grew them in the Imperial Gardens around 500 BC. Not only that, but the emperor’s library contained hundreds of books just on the subject of these beautiful flowers.
Roman mythology considered roses to be a symbol of secrecy and desire, particularly related to Venus, the Roman goddess who was considered to be related to beauty and love. Perhaps due to their sweet smell and interesting colors, the rose has been correlated with love through the eastern cultures, such as Asian and Arab cultures, as well.
Rose Day is associated with Valentine’s Day, a holiday that has been celebrated for at least 1500 years. Although Valentine’s Day used to be just one day left on its own, it has now grown and developed into a much larger celebration of love that spans for a week before. Some people even take to celebrating the beauty of love throughout the entire month of February.
Set forth to mark the beginning of the week prior to Valentine’s Day, Rose Day is a romantic day that is the first of many to be celebrated in the lead up to one of the most love-focused days of the year. The day is encouraged to be celebrated in all sorts of ways that symbolize love, affection and romance in honor of this week of love.
Other days that are celebrated in this week leading up to Valentine’s Day include Propose Day on February 8, Chocolate Day on the following day, Teddy Day, Promise Day, Hug Day, Kiss Day and, of course, Valentine’s Day.
Rose Day is here as a reminder to show appreciation for those people in life who are so loved and cared for, acting as a kickoff for the week of Valentine’s Day!
How to Celebrate Rose Day
Enjoy the fun and beauty of Rose Day by celebrating with some of these creative ideas for the day:
Give a Rose to Your Love
Keep the celebration of Rose Day simply by offering a single, long-stemmed red rose to a new love interest or the love of your life. Or, for something a little more expressive, consider celebrating the day by giving a dozen roses, or even more. Choose red roses, white roses, yellow roses or pink and make a statement of love on this important day!
Learn the Meaning of Rose Colors
One fun activity in celebration of Rose Day might be to learn the significant symbolism of each of the colors of roses. Get started with some of these rose colors:
The color of true love, zeal, passion and intensity, the red rose most definitely sends the message that says “I love you”.
A lighter version of red roses, these pink versions are symbols of admiration, gratefulness, gentleness and appreciation.
Representing feelings of friendship and optimism, the yellow rose is also considered to be a symbol of joy, power and cheer.
The color for purity and peace, white roses represent the idea of innocence and loyalty. Often used at weddings, perhaps this would be a perfect Rose Day color for someone who is engaged and about to be married.
Pass Out Roses to Random Strangers
Those who want to spread the cheer even further might consider purchasing a dozen or two roses and then passing them out, one at a time, to random strangers. Perhaps this would be the perfect time to get some practice leading up to Random Acts of Kindness Day and bring people joy by offering them a rose in honor of Rose Day.
Make a Rose Day Playlist
In celebration of Rose Day, make up a list of songs that speak of romance and love, ushering in the amazing week before Valentine’s Day. Get started with some of these songs that feature the glorious theme of roses:
- The Rose by Bette Midler (1980). Commercialized when the song was recorded for her film of the same name, the lyrics to this song are themed along the beauty of everything related to love.
- Love is a Rose by Linda Ronstadt (1975). This country rock song was written by Neil Young, with the lyrics “Love is a rose but you better not pick it”.
- Kiss from a Rose by Seal (1994). Placed on Seal’s second eponymous album, this song was included in the film The NeverEnding Story III and was also re-released for the Batman Forever Soundtrack.
- Desert Rose by Sting (1999). This song has been named by Sting as having been written about a love that was lost. With a bit of an ethnic feel, the duet was performed by Sting with Algerian singer, Mami.
Grow Some Roses
Though it’s early in the year, and still winter in many parts of the northern hemisphere, Rose Day might be a super time to plan to grow some roses. Whether just getting started by planting one rose bush, or continuing the cultivation of a rose garden that has been building over the years, this is a great time to learn more and get started planning.
Perhaps it would even be a good idea to read some books on how to better grow roses, like one these books on the subject:
- The Kew Gardener’s Guide to Growing Roses: The Art and Science to Grow with Confidence by Kew Royal Botanic Gardens (2021)
- A Rose to the Occasion: An Easy-Growing Guide to Rose Gardening by Rosefiend Cordell (2016)
- Roses: An Inspirational Guide to Choosing and Growing the Best Roses by Michael V Marriott (2022)
Rose Day FAQs
What to do on Rose Day?
Celebrating Rose Day can be simple and easy, just by giving roses to the one you love!
What is after Rose Day?
The day following Rose Day is called Propose Day, followed by Chocolate Day. 
Are roses edible?
Yes, all varieties of roses are edible, with the sweetest smelling ones likely to offer the best taste. 
Do roses like full sun?
Most roses thrive when grown in direct sunlight. 
Should roses be deadheaded?
Deadheading roses definitely keeps them looking best throughout the growing season.