The Importance of Flowers in Indian Culture and Tradition

Flowers, Prayers and Rituals

Particular flowers are offered to particular Gods and hence, hold a special significance.

Photo: Siddharthav/Flickr

In many religions, including Hinduism flowers play a huge role in paying respect to the deities.

For example, Laxmi sits on a Lotus and Lord Vishnu is believed to be born from it.

The Red Hibiscus is offered to Maa Kaali and is symbolic of her courage and rage.

Why are Flowers Offered in Prayer?

According to culture, mythology and belief, flowers please Gods.

Photo: WikiMedia

Just as they bring joy to mortals, Gods too cannot resist their charm.

And by offering flowers, devotees find a way to make the deities happy.

In fact, the word puja is a combination of ‘pu’ meaning flowers and ‘ja’ which means chants and water.

Flowers at Social Functions

Birth, marriages, funerals etc. though a seemingly natural progression are celebrated or observed along with social and cultural norms.

Again, the way the event is played out largely depends on the regional and religious beliefs of the individuals. But flowers, as always, play a fundamental role in equalizing.

For example, putting a flower garland around the bride and bridegroom is a ceremony that is a cultural constant in India.

Flowers in Home and Self décor

They lighten up our room in vases and pots and their fragrance brings in a whiff of freshness.

Photo: WikieMedia

The same holds true when special care is taken to decorate homes during festivals or family occasions.

However, besides decorating spaces, flowers are also known for enhancing personal beauty. Women in India adorn a gajra or flower bunch around their hair.

Flowers in Health, Food and Medicine

The mystics of Ayurveda are now a world renowned practice. A lot of people follow Ayurveda to heal and cure from various ailments.

Photo: Thangaraj Kumaravel /Flickr

In fact, there are many medicinal flowers that are used traditionally over generations. Tulsi, Hibiscus, Jasmine, Marigold, Blue Pea and more are flowers known for their medicinal worth and also used in Ayurveda.

Flower in Art and Designs

Floral patterns are an artistic hit everywhere in the world.

Photo: WikiMedia

Similarly, in Indian architecture, whether the structures are national, regional or created by dynasties of erstwhile eras, flower designs are used in various forms.

In paintings, sculptures, sketches, motifs, stories, folklore and more, flowers are an innate part of cultural tales and history.

The Flower Economy in India

esides the aesthetics, the flowers are a source of livelihood for many, either through direct or indirect employment.

Photo: Koshy Koshy/Flickr

The chain begins from those growing the flowers and ends at the final consumers. But in the cultural milieu flowers hold a slightly special corner in our hearts when compared to any other products.

Florists are usually the main outlets. But then there are decorators, stalls outside places of worship, funeral grounds etc.

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