What Do Red Roses Symbolize? Discover the Meaning and Significance of the Classic Flower

Red roses are one of the most popular flowers in the world, and it’s easy to see why. These flowers look stunning and have a stunning fragrance that is hard to beat. For centuries, red roses have been a symbol of love, passion, and romance. They have been used in everything from fairy tales to films to represent the deep emotions people have for one another.

But did you know that red roses aren’t just about love and romance? They also have other meanings and symbolize different things in different cultures. For example, in Japan, red roses are a sign of bravery, while in Greece, they represent martyrdom. In Christianity, red roses symbolize the blood of Christ. These are just a few examples, and there are many more out there.

Regardless of what context you see a red rose in, it’s hard to deny their beauty and charm. Whether it’s a single red rose or a bouquet, these flowers have a way of capturing people’s hearts and bringing a smile to their face. So next time you see a red rose, take a moment to appreciate all the different things it can symbolize and the joy it brings to those around you.

History of Red Roses as a Symbol

The history of red roses as a symbol dates back thousands of years to ancient civilizations, where they were revered for their beauty and fragrance. The Greeks and Romans associated roses with Aphrodite and Venus, the goddesses of love, while in Christian culture, the red rose became associated with the Virgin Mary and later, with the blood of Christ.

In the Middle Ages, flowers were used as a means of communication when social etiquette dictated that words spoken in public were limited to formalities. Different flowers came to symbolize different emotions, and the red rose quickly became associated with passionate love and romance. It is believed that the tradition of giving red roses on Valentine’s Day began in the 15th century, with the first written record of such a gift dating to the court of Charles VI of France in 1400.

Since then, the red rose has become an enduring symbol of love and desire. In poetry, literature, and art throughout the ages, the red rose has been used to convey powerful emotions and to express the depth of one’s feelings towards another. Today, the red rose remains a timeless symbol of love and passion, and continues to hold a special place in our hearts.

Significance of Color Red in Symbolism

Red is a color that stands out and grabs attention. It is often associated with energy, passion, and love, making it a popular choice for symbolizing emotions. In various cultures and situations, the color red holds different meanings. In this article, we will discuss the significance of the color red in symbolism and understand what red roses symbolize.

Number 2: Red in Eastern cultures

  • In China, red is the symbol of good fortune and joy. During Chinese New Year, red envelopes with money are given to children for good luck and blessings. Red is also the color of the Chinese national flag.
  • In India, red is associated with purity, sensuality, and fertility. It is also the color of married women’s attire and is considered a symbol of prosperity.
  • In Japan, red is associated with life force, energy, and power. It is the color of the Rising Sun on the Japanese flag and represents strength and bravery.

As we can see, the color red has varied significance in Eastern cultures, representing joy, purity, and power. It is used in festivals, weddings, and other auspicious occasions to bring good luck and blessings.

Red roses symbolism

Red roses are the ultimate symbol of love and passion. They represent deep feelings of love, romance, and affection. Red roses are often given on special occasions like Valentine’s day, anniversaries, or as an expression of apologies. Different shades of red roses carry various meanings like dark red represents unconscious beauty, burgundy roses represent intense passion, and bright red roses symbolize true love.

Shade of RedMeaning
Dark RedUnconscious Beauty
BurgundyIntense Passion
Bright RedTrue Love

Red roses have been used throughout history to express love and affection, making them one of the most loved flowers in the world. They hold a special place in the hearts of lovers, adding a touch of romance and passion to any occasion.

Mythological References to Red Roses

Red roses have been associated with various Greek and Roman myths, representing everything from love and passion to death and rebirth. Here are some of the most notable mythological references to red roses:

  • In Greek mythology, red roses were said to be created by Aphrodite, the goddess of love, in honor of her lover Adonis. When Adonis was killed by a boar, Aphrodite’s tears mixed with his blood, giving rise to the iconic red roses. As a result, red roses became a symbol of love and passion.
  • In Roman mythology, the god of love, Cupid, gave a red rose to Psyche as a token of his love. This act further cemented the association between red roses and love.
  • Another Greek myth tells the story of Chloris, the goddess of flowers. One day, she came across the lifeless body of a nymph and, in her grief, turned her into a flower. The other gods agreed to give the flower a sweet fragrance and beautiful petals, with Aphrodite adding the finishing touch by giving it a deep red color. This mythical flower was said to be the first red rose.

The Symbolic Meaning of Three Red Roses

While red roses are generally associated with love and passion, the number of roses given can also convey a specific message. In the language of flowers, giving three red roses means “I love you” and is often used as a way to express romantic feelings.

Number of RosesMeaning
1I love you
2Mutual love and affection
3I love you
6I want to be yours
12Be my partner

While giving red roses can convey different meanings depending on the number, the deep red color of the petals remains a symbol of passion, desire, and undying love throughout various myths and cultures.

Red Roses in Literature

Red roses have long been a popular symbol in literature, often used to represent love, admiration, and beauty. Here are some examples of how red roses have been portrayed in famous works:

  • In William Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet,” the red rose is a symbol of passionate love between the two main characters. Juliet remarks, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” This line suggests that the beauty of their love transcends any obstacles, just as the beauty of a rose remains despite its name.
  • The famous children’s book “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein features a red rose as the Tree’s way of expressing affection towards the main character. The Tree gives away its branches, trunk, and finally its roots to the boy as he grows up, but the red rose remains as a reminder of the Tree’s love for him.
  • Red roses are also heavily featured in Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre,” as the protagonist often receives them as a gift from Mr. Rochester. The roses represent both their growing affection for each other and the fraught nature of their relationship, as Rochester is already married and unable to be with Jane.

Red Roses and Symbolism

In addition to their representation in literature, red roses have taken on different meanings throughout history. Here are some notable examples:

Medieval Christianity associated red roses with martyrdom, as the red color was seen to symbolize the blood of Christ and the thorns represented the Crown of Thorns. Similarly, during the Wars of the Roses in 15th-century England, red roses were associated with the House of Lancaster and their claim to the English throne.

Today, red roses are often gifted on Valentine’s Day as a symbol of romantic love, but they can also represent courage, respect, and admiration. Whether in literature or everyday life, the red rose continues to hold rich symbolism and meaning.

Red Roses in Art

Red roses have also been a popular subject in art throughout the ages. Here are some famous examples:

What Do Red Roses Symbolize? Discover the Meaning and Significance of the Classic Flower - liu dan formosean memento 10622728What Do Red Roses Symbolize? Discover the Meaning and Significance of the Classic Flower - A68540 01 IMG 0007
Liu Dan, “Formosean Memento,” 2008Ion Čšuculescu, “Flori (Roses)”

Famous artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Georgia O’Keeffe all depicted red roses in their paintings, each bringing their unique style and interpretation to the subject.

Symbolism of Red Roses in Different Cultures

Red roses are universally recognized as the ultimate symbol of love, passion, and romance. This is why they are the go-to flower on Valentine’s day, anniversaries, and special occasions. But did you know that the symbolism of red roses varies across different cultures?

The Number 5

In Chinese culture, the number 5 is considered an auspicious number because it represents the five elements: water, fire, earth, wood, and metal. Therefore, a bouquet of five red roses is believed to bring good luck and signify good health, happiness, and prosperity.

  • In Japan, five red roses symbolize a happy, fulfilled life
  • In numerology, the number 5 is associated with change, growth, and adventure
  • Five red roses can also signify five years of marriage or a fifth anniversary

If you’re looking to give a bouquet of five red roses, keep in mind the recipient’s cultural background and beliefs to ensure the gesture is well received.

Red Roses in Religious Context

In many religious traditions, the red rose holds a special significance and is often seen as a symbol of deep spiritual love and devotion. Here, we will explore the specific meanings of red roses in Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam.

The Number 6

While red roses are generally associated with love, the specific meaning of the number of roses given can also be significant. In Christianity, six red roses are often given to represent the six days of creation in the Bible. The seventh day, or the Sabbath, is represented by resting and not giving or receiving gifts.

  • In Hinduism, the number six is seen as a symbol of stability and perfection, with six petals on the lotus flower representing the six chakras or energy centers of the body.
  • In Islam, the number six is said to symbolize protection and purification. Muslims often make the pilgrimage to Mecca in groups of six, and the Kaaba, the holiest site in Islam, is said to have been built with six stones.
  • Overall, the number six is viewed positively in many cultures and can bring a sense of balance and harmony.

Other Religious Symbolism

Red roses are also associated with the Virgin Mary in the Catholic tradition. Legend has it that while Mary was appearing to Saint Juan Diego in Mexico, she asked him to gather flowers. When he arrived at the site where she appeared, he found roses blooming despite it being out of season. The roses were red, and after he collected them in his tilma or cloak, Mary rearranged them into an image of herself that is now known as Our Lady of Guadalupe.

In Sufi Islam, the rose represents the human soul or spirit, with the fragrance of the rose symbolizing divine love and beauty. The rose is also seen as a symbol of the Prophet Muhammad, with a popular Sufi saying stating that, “God is the rose, and Muhammad is the fragrance.”

ReligionSymbolism of Red Roses
ChristianityRepresents the six days of creation in the Bible
HinduismSymbol of stability and perfection
IslamSymbol of protection and purification
CatholicismAssociated with the Virgin Mary and Our Lady of Guadalupe
Sufi IslamSymbol of the human soul and Prophet Muhammad

Overall, the red rose has a rich and meaningful symbolism in many religious contexts, representing love, devotion, beauty, and spirituality.

Different Meanings of Red Roses Based on Quantity

Red roses have been a symbol of love and passion for centuries, and the number of roses given can also hold special significance. In this article, we explore the different meanings of red roses based on quantity.

Seven Red Roses

Seven red roses convey deep infatuation and a desire to be with someone. It can also symbolize the idea of being intoxicated with love, as seen in the saying “love is a seven-letter word.” Seven red roses can also represent good luck and prosperity, making it a great choice for wishing someone success in a new endeavor.

1Love at first sight
2Deeply in love
3I love you
6I want to be yours
10You are perfect
24Forever yours

Regardless of the number of roses given, the message behind the gift should always be heartfelt and sincere. Red roses are a classic way to express love and affection, and the intention behind the gift will always be appreciated.

Occasions and Events Associated with Red Roses

Red roses are a classic symbol of love and romance and are commonly associated with Valentine’s Day and anniversaries. However, the significance of red roses extends beyond just romantic love. Here are some occasions and events where red roses are commonly used as a symbol:

Number 8: Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day falls on the first Friday of March every year and is a time for employers to recognize and thank their employees for their hard work and contributions to the company.

Red roses are a popular gift on Employee Appreciation Day as they not only express appreciation, but also convey a message of passion and dedication. The number 8 is also significant as it is a lucky number in Chinese culture and symbolizes prosperity and good fortune.

If you are looking to give red roses to your employees, consider pairing them with a personalized thank you card or a small gift. This gesture will not only boost employee morale, but also strengthen the bond between the employer and employees.

  • Other occasions and events:
  • Weddings and engagements
  • Birthdays
  • Graduations
  • Sympathy and condolence
  • Retirement

Weddings and engagements:

Red roses are a classic choice for weddings and engagements as they symbolize passionate love and commitment. They are often used in bouquets, centerpieces, and as corsages or boutonnieres for the wedding party.


Red roses are a great way to celebrate a milestone birthday or to express your love and appreciation for someone on their special day.


Red roses are a great way to congratulate someone on their graduation and to wish them success in their future endeavors.

Sympathy and condolence:

Red roses can also be used to express sympathy and condolence during times of loss and grief. They are a symbol of respect, love, and remembrance.


Red roses are a great way to say goodbye and to thank someone for their years of service and dedication. They are also a symbol of good luck and prosperity in their future endeavors.

Employee Appreciation DayAppreciation, passion, dedication, prosperity, good fortune
Weddings and engagementsPassionate love, commitment
BirthdaysCelebration, love, appreciation
GraduationsCongratulations, success
Sympathy and condolenceRespect, love, remembrance
RetirementGratitude, good luck, prosperity

In conclusion, red roses are a versatile and timeless symbol that can be used to express a range of emotions and messages. Whether it’s to convey love and passion or to express gratitude and appreciation, red roses are sure to leave a lasting impression on any recipient.

Psychology of Red Roses

Red roses are one of the most iconic flowers in the world and are often associated with love and romance. This is due to the symbolism and meaning behind the color red, which is commonly associated with passion, desire, and love. The psychology of red roses is deep and complex, with various subtopics to explore. In this article, we delve into what red roses symbolize, including the number 9.

Number 9

The number nine is a powerful symbol in many cultures and is often associated with completion, spiritual enlightenment, and perfection. In the case of red roses, the number nine is significant due to the tradition of giving a bouquet of nine red roses to express eternal love to someone special.

  • The number nine is significant as it represents the end of a cycle, making it an appropriate gift for someone who has just accomplished a major life milestone or achieved a significant goal.
  • For couples in a long-term relationship, nine red roses can represent the completion of their journey together, making it an ideal gift for an anniversary or other special occasion.
  • In numerology, the number nine is considered a spiritual number that represents higher consciousness and spiritual enlightenment. By giving a bouquet of nine red roses, one may be expressing their desire for a deeper spiritual connection and unity with their loved one.

Overall, the number 9 in the context of red roses represents the completion of a cycle, spiritual enlightenment, and eternal love. It is a powerful symbol that can be used to communicate a deep and meaningful message to a loved one through the giving of a bouquet of nine red roses.

When it comes to giving red roses, it is important to understand their meaning and symbolism. By doing so, you can use this beautiful flower to convey your feelings and emotions to your loved one in a way that is authentic and meaningful to you.

PassionThe color red is associated with passion and desire, making red roses an ideal gift for expressing romantic love.
LoveRed roses are a traditional symbol of love and romantic love. They are often used in weddings, anniversaries, and other special occasions to express deep affection and commitment.
BeautyRed roses are known for their beauty and are appreciated for their vibrant color and fragrant scent.
CourageThe act of giving red roses takes courage and vulnerability, as it requires opening one’s heart and expressing their true feelings.

Red Roses in Visual Art and Design

For centuries, artists and designers have incorporated red roses into their creations as a symbol of love, passion, and romance. This iconic flower has been widely used in various forms of art, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, and even tattoos. In addition, red roses have long been a popular choice for floral arrangements, especially for weddings and other special occasions.

  • The Number 10: One interesting aspect of the red rose in art and design is its association with the number 10. In tarot, the Ten of Cups is often depicted with a couple embracing in front of a rainbow, surrounded by ten cups overflowing with red roses. This card represents ultimate happiness and fulfillment in love and family life. In addition, in Chinese culture, the number 10 is considered auspicious for its completeness and perfection, and red roses are often used to symbolize prosperity and good fortune.
  • The Language of Flowers: Red roses have been used in the “language of flowers” to convey various meanings depending on the number and arrangement of the flowers. A single red rose is typically used to express love or admiration, while a dozen red roses signify “I love you” and are often given as a romantic gesture. In art and design, the number and arrangement of red roses can be used to convey different emotions and messages to the viewer.
  • Wedding Design: In wedding design, red roses are a popular choice for bouquets, centerpieces, and other floral arrangements. Red roses symbolize love and passion, making them a fitting choice for a romantic occasion like a wedding. When combined with other flowers and greenery, red roses can create a beautiful and timeless look for any wedding theme or style.

In summary, red roses have been a popular symbol of love and romance in visual art and design for centuries. From tarot cards to wedding bouquets, the number and arrangement of red roses can be used to convey different emotions and messages. Whether you’re an artist, designer, or simply a lover of flowers, the red rose is a timeless and classic choice.

FAQs: What Do Red Roses Symbolize?

1. Why are red roses associated with love and romance?

Red roses are associated with love and romance because they symbolize passion, desire, and love. In fact, red roses have been used as a symbol for love and romance for centuries.

2. Do red roses only symbolize romantic love?

No, red roses are not limited to romantic love. They can also symbolize deep emotions like gratitude, appreciation, and admiration.

3. Can red roses be used to express sorrow or sympathy?

Red roses are not typically used to express sorrow or sympathy as they are more commonly associated with love and passion. In this case, white roses or other sympathy flowers may be more appropriate.

4. In which occasions are red roses typically gifted?

Red roses are often gifted on Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, birthdays or just to express love and affection to someone special.

5. How many red roses should be given as a gift?

The number of roses given as a gift can hold symbolic meaning. One red rose symbolizes love at first sight, a dozen represents deep devotion, and 50 red roses is often seen as the ultimate declaration of love and commitment.

6. Can red roses be gifted to men or is it a girly thing?

Red roses can be gifted to anyone regardless of gender. Love and appreciation is not a gender-specific emotion.

7. Is it okay to gift red roses in corporate settings?

Red roses are not typically seen as an appropriate gift in a corporate setting. In contrast, white or yellow flowers are more acceptable, and they are often used to convey appreciation and gratitude in a professional environment.

Closing: Thanks For Reading

We hope that this article has helped you to better understand the symbolism behind red roses. Next time you gift red roses or receive them, keep in mind the different meanings that they hold. Thanks for reading and be sure to check back soon for more informative articles.