Easter lilies signal the approach of the Easter holiday each year. Easter occurs each year on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the first day of spring, which is why there is such a wide variance in its date every year. It is at this time, that churches fill their alters and chapels with the delicate, pure white blooms of the Easter lily. The base of the crosses will usually be surrounded as well, in recognition of the Resurrection. Hence the name Easter Lily.
In a more botanical setting, the Easter Lily is also known as the Bermuda lily or Trumpet Lily. It has become a prolific icon in the celebration of one of the most important Christian holidays. For centuries the Easter lily has been a symbol of elegance and spirituality in association with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ after his execution. Unlike all of the other Pagan symbolization that we see in modern times, such as the Easter bunny, colorful eggs, and candy, the Easter lily has been around since biblical times.
The Easter lilies we use today are sometimes referred to as ‘The White Robed Apostles of Hope’.
Legends of Easter
There is one legend that speaks of how the blood of Christ made its way to the ground and miraculously turned into flowers that filled the earth and heaven. The bulb of the flower as it is buried in the ground is representative of the tomb of Jesus Christ. The white trumpet flowers represent his life after death. The white color represents the Savior’s purity. Their trumpet shape represents the Angel Gabriel’s call to rebirth and new life. There are many legends and stories that give birth to the Easter Lily as we know it.
This is another one of the oldest stories of the Easter lily. It is told that it originated in the Garden of Eden. Its seeds were spread by Eve’s tears as she left the garden. While there are conflicting stories about this, some accounts say that it is not the Easter lily, or trumpet lily but rather the snowdrop.
No matter what the legend or story behind it, this lily is by far one of the most iconic of all spring flowers and has been the subject of many artists and writers throughout time. Read on to find some samples of those writings.
Easter morn with lilies fair,
Fills the church with perfumes rare.
As their clouds of incense rise,
sweetest offerings to the skies.
Stately lilies, pure and white,
flooding darkness with their light.
Bloom and sorrow drift away,
on this holy hallow’d day.
Easter Lilies bending low,
in the golden afterglow,
Bear a message from the sod
To the heavenly towers of God.
-Louise Lewin Matthews
Rightly, the lily is the flower of Easter. It lies buried in the ooze of a pond or stream. There is nothing in the grave of the dead lily that appeals to nostril or eye. But silently the forces of life are working in the dark and the damp to prepare a glorious resurrection. A shaft of green shoots upward toward the sun. This is followed by a cluster of tiny buds. One day the sun smiles with special warmth upon the dank, black ooze, and there leaps into the light a creature of light and beauty; it is the lily, an angel of the earth, whose look is light. ___________Author Unknown-_________
Here is an interesting fact:
95% of the world’s crop of Easter lilies are produced right here in the United States, along the border of northern California and Southern Oregon. However, they originate from the Ryukyu Islands of southern Japan.
Happy Easter & Happy Planting! -Delores Kincer