The Meaning of the Calla Lily
Throughout history, most flowers have been used to convey various sentiments. The calla lily is a flower that is gifted to express purity, sympathy or appreciation. Though they come in many colors, the meaning does not change with the hue. Ancient Romans often kept calla lilies in pots inside the house. When they bloomed, it was considered to be a signal of the coming spring.
The Romans force-bloomed calla lily bulbs indoors at the winter solstice to represent the awakening of the light from the dark of winter. The phallic nature of the spadix enveloped in the single, soft, unfurling spathe made it a very sensual symbol.
In the second half of the 18th century, calla lilies were introduced in the United States. They immediately became popular as a wedding flower, representing the elegant beauty of the bride and pristine white purity. According to “Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography,” this era is also what was known as the golden age of American cemeteries. The symbolism as a wedding flower quickly translated into funerary traditions and artwork to symbolize marriage and elegance.
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Canon EOS REBEL T1i, Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-55mm.
Location: southeastern Connecticut (USA).
Season: spring, May 28th.
Dedicated to traditions, both ancient and current.
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