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Orange blossom as a sacred flower of Sicily.

Orange blossom as a sacred flower of Sicily.

Not all flowers have a sacred meaning, and certainly, not all flowers turn to such ancient wedding symbol … like orange flowers. The flower, la zagara in Sicilian, which delicate smell dominates all Sicilian gardens from April to May, is beloved by the locals for its beauty and smell, but, as historical facts show, popularity as a wedding symbol came to it in completely different countries.

Lemon flower close-up

Initially, an orange as a garden culture was brought to Europe from China, where this flower was traditionally considered a symbol of purity and of the maidenhead of the bride, as well as of fertility. Also, this is one of the rare plants that can simultaneously bear fruits and flowers (just like in the main photo from my garden). And in Sicily, due to the excellent climatic conditions, citruses blossom 2 times a year; in winter the whole island is simply buried in orange fragrant balls of different shapes and tastes.

After the orange tree migrated from Spain to France in the early 1800s, and from there to England, along with it the fascinating Chinese legends about the magical properties of this flower migrated also. Enchanted British brides increasingly began to use the orange blossom to decorate their wedding dress and the wedding crown. It never occurred to anyone before that the crowned ladies shall use a simple flower instead of jewellery for their wedding attire. But the year 1840 has arrived. And it was Queen Victoria who has set the fashion for the orange flower, turning it into a European wedding symbol. She used it to decorate her wedding dress, as a symbol of fertility and long happy life. The wedding tiara was also made of these fragrant and for some opinion, folkloric, flowers under the style of the dress (see photo). After the royal wedding articles began to appear in all the most influential fashion magazines, explicitly requiring all British brides to use orange flowers in their wedding image. A bride with a tiara of orange blossoms has become a classic look of the Victorian bride.

Of course, southern flowers were very rare in the northern countries, so only wealthy British families could afford them. But the rest found a way out and began to make them from ceramics and porcelain. In the colour photo, you can see the bride with such porcelain tiara made of the smallest orange flowers.

The fashion for this, typically Sicilian, flower lasted until the 1950s. So, if you are thinking about a vintage style for your wedding, be sure to consider this little miracle of nature for compositions or a wedding bouquet. Orange blossom is not so easy to manage, not all florists know how to work with it correctly. I created my very first wedding with this flower at the request of the bride, you can see the table decorations and bouquet option in the album portfolio “Anastasia and Gennady”

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