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In the language of flowers the lily takes on many meanings. The lily was and is used as a symbol in many different areas and is always associated with positive feelings or characteristics.
The lily is a perennial bulbous plant and belongs to the genus Lilium. Its origins are found in Asia Minor and in the Balkans, in Europe it was imported later.
The plant has a stem whose height goes from eighty centimeters to two meters, the flower is generally large, the petals are strong and fleshy. There are more than eighty varieties and hybrids of this flower. Depending on the variety, the petals may be of uniform or nuanced color, sometimes sprinkled with dots of a darker color. This flower is cultivated today for ornamental purposes to beautify the gardens or even to be used as a cut flower to give away.
The lily is a flower that is also given on the occasion of wedding anniversaries, a custom dating back to ancient Greece.
When we think of the lily, the image that comes to mind is typically that of the white lily and this is what is generally referred to when we speak of the meaning of the lily.
The characteristics that are generally associated with the lily flower are purity, whiteness and virginity.
The lily is also associated with other meanings, due both to the history and the legends that see it as protagonists, and to its structure as a plant.
The flower has a tall stem that rises straight, does not bend but rather breaks. This characteristic brings it to be a symbol of pride, linked to the nobility of mind and which was once matched with the noble family. The lily is therefore also a symbol of nobility and high lineage.
Everything has been reported in the sentimental field and to give one's beloved one or more lilies is like saying to her "You are my queen".
Religion and myth
In the religious sphere the lily is a symbol that often recurs as an emblem of candor, virginity and purity derived from its poise and its candid color. According to a legend, once the lilies were yellow. When the Virgin Mary bent down to pick one up, at her touch the flower changed color to a pure white.
In the Christian religion we find the lily associated with other saints such as Saint Catherine of Siena, Saint Anthony of Padua and the Archangel Gabriel. However, Giglio is often found in many religious depictions and one could almost think of it as a symbol of holiness itself.
As often happens, mythology and religion merge and resemble each other. In the Greek and Roman civilizations, the lily was associated with Hera, wife of Zeus, considered the protector of the nuptial thalamus, similarly to Saint Anthony, patron of marriage and patron of procreation.
Another legend concerning the color of the flower, tells that the goddess Hera, while nursing her son Ercole, poured some of the excess milk on the Earth. All the drops of milk of the goddess turned into stars, forming the famous Milky Way, while those that fell on the ground gave birth to beautiful white lilies.
Meaning of colored lilies
The meanings that lead back to nobility, wealth, majesty, pride, purity, innocence and modesty are those generally associated with the lily in general and in particular with the white lily.
However the meanings attributed to this flower are many more and change according to its color. A different meaning is associated with each different variety of the flower. In the language of flowers, for example, the yellow lily it symbolizes falsehood but is also linked to the idea of walking in the air and gaiety. The orange lily or red indicates a passion of love and symbolizes the flame, as if to say: "I burn for you". The pink lily instead it indicates vanity.
Meaning of lily: Other meanings
Heraldry. The characteristic of nobility associated with the lily, has made it an element almost always present as a symbol of coats of arms for nobles and condottieri. The lily is counted among the four most important heraldic figures, which include not only the same flower, but also the lion, the eagle and the cross. The introduction of the lily as a symbol in the coats of arms dates back to the Middle Ages, where it was given the meaning of a gift. The way in which the lily drawing was stylized was very much like a crown.
Tattoo. Often the lily is also used as an element to be represented in tattoos. The choice of getting a lily tattooed should be an expression of purity and innocence. However, in this context, the idea of transgression is often associated with the lily.
A suitable color for a tattooed lily, could be the pink, a symbol of vanity, which could instill the desire of many to have a design indelibly imprinted on their skin.
Dreams. To the lily are attributed very precise meanings also in the interpretation of dreams. Dreaming of a lily has a different meaning depending on who is dreaming, depending on whether it is a man or a woman, For women the dreamed lily means desire for purity and chastity. It also indicates in particular the desire to remain chaste until marriage. For a man the dreamed lily is instead an expression of the desire to belong forever to his beloved and to no one else.