Sunday, February 20, 2011
Snowdrop and Sweet Violet in Mary-Legends
Many flowers changed their names at the arrival of Christianity to the North. All aromatic flowers were in the Middle Ages called violets. Snowdrop was a white violet, and the white shade was a symbol of purity. In the Christian church it became the memory of the day, where Mary brought Christ to the temple. But before this much superstition was attached to this flower. Since it was the first flower breaking through the black soil, it was said to be magical, and people had to treat it carefully. If the flower was plucked and brought indoors, it might foresay death or other evils. Another legend said that when Adam and Eve were driven out from the Garden of Eden they came to a cold and dark place, and Eve was disconsolate, until an angel showed, caught a snowflake and blew on it, changing it into a white flower.
The sweet violet is together with lily and rose among the three noblest flowers. It is a symbol of Mary's humility, and although other flowers were named violets in the Middle Ages the sweet violet is the one, which is most valued for its scent and colour. The humble sweet violet has the colour of Mary's royal robe. The violet was used in cosmetics and perfume.
Source: Anemette Olesen, Marias Planter, Himlen ned på Jorden, 2007.
photo 2008: grethe bachmann