Sunflower meaning

Sunflower meaning

The meaning of the sunflower is linked to the particularity of this flower that follows the light of the sun by rotating on itself. In ancient times the sunflower was the flower of the Sun God and for this reason it has always been the bearer of a meaning linked to the concepts of cheerfulness, joy but also love. As it is a bearer of positivity, the sunflower is the ideal flower to give as a gift in case of illness or hospitalization as it is a good omen for a quick recovery. But it is also the perfect flower for graduation as it represents the achievement of victories and successes in every field. This flower was also known and adored by the pre-Columbian populations. As its bright yellow color brings joy, it is often chosen as a decorative subject in many furnishing accessories, such as kitchen tiles.

Legends about the sunflower

There are many legends about the sunflower, all related to the sun. The most famous one reports a Greek story: according to this legend, the sunflower was born at the behest of Apollo, precisely the god of the sun. The nymph Clizia had fallen in love with him, who spent her days admiring him, following him perpetually with her gaze. Apollo, who did not return his love, tired of being always observed, transformed her nine days after their first meeting into a flower that they called a sunflower as it followed its rays. According to this legend, therefore, the flower becomes the symbol of absolute fidelity and is given to brides. In Chinese mythology, however, the sunflower takes on the meaning of longevity and for this reason it is given on the occasion of births.

Sunflower symbolism

The symbolism of the sunflower, however, also wants it to be the flower of pride because of its regal and haughty appearance as the tall stem and the always rigid corolla give it an almost cheeky appearance. Both the Incas and the Aztecs made it their sacred flower that adorned the robes of the priestesses during sacred services. The sunflower has also been chosen by many famous people as the most representative flower. For example, Oscar Wilde always wore one in the buttonhole of his jacket. A holiday was also established in his name, the International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day, which takes place every year on May 1st since 2007 in Brussels. During this festival, different varieties of sunflowers are planted to embellish flower beds and public streets.

History of the sunflower

The story of the sunflower is that of a flower that is appreciated in many parts of the world precisely for its characteristics that make it a joyful and cheerful element, for the eyes and for the sense of smell. The sunflower is so appreciated that it has also been chosen as the main subject of many paintings. Among these, for example, are the famous paintings by Anthony Van Dyck who in two of his Flemish paintings was the first to immortalize the flower. But it is Vincent Van Gogh, at the end of the nineteenth century, who makes the sunflower famous by portraying it in some of his most famous paintings. Indeed, Van Gogh drawing sunflowers became the subject of another famous drawing, that of his friend Paul Gauguin. Finally, Gustav Klimt – controversial symbolist – also depicted sunflowers.

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