Carnation | Symbolism & Meaning
For the most part, these lovely flowers express love, fascination, and distinction. Though there are many variations dependent on colour.
- Along with the red rose, the red carnation is a symbol of socialism and the labour movement. Historically people use it in demonstrations on International Workers’ Day (May Day).
- Light red ones represent admiration, while dark red denote deep love and affection.
- White represent pure love and good luck, while striped (variegated) carnations symbolise regret that a love cannot be shared.
- Purple indicate capriciousness. In France, it is a traditional funeral flower, given in condolence for the death of a loved one.
- Carnation is the birth flower for those born in the month of January.
- In Portugal, they used bright red carnations when in 1974 the authoritarian Estado Novo regime was overthrown. Therefore, this transition is known as the Carnation Revolution.
- Prince Bernhard wore white carnation during World War II and in a gesture of defiance some of the Dutch population took up this gesture. After the war it became a sign of the Prince, veterans and remembrance of the resistance.
- Since Ottoman times, people use red carnations and tulips in the interior wall paintings of mosques in Turkey. They said that while tulips represent God, carnation is the symbol for Muhammad. However these flower designs are not unique to mosques but also used in many other Ottoman traditional art forms.
People around the world often use on special occasions, especially Mother’s Day and weddings.