Valentine's Day Roses: What Does Each Rose Color Symbolize Or Represent?

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Valentine's Day Roses: What do rose colors symbolize? PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek/Shutterstock

Every Valentine's Day, while millions of people celebrate the honorary day of love, millions protest the "Hallmark holiday" that promotes consumerism. No matter where you stand on the day, there's one simple fact that nobody can deny: The holiday is an 18 billion dollar industry that won't be going anywhere any time soon. According to CNN, 224 million roses are grown for Valentine's Day and 51 percent of people buy red roses for the holiday. An estimated $1.9 billion will be spent on flower--men make up 64 percent of the flower purchasing consumer.

If you're looking to buy someone special some roses, then know that the colors of roses are symbolic. Essentially, each rose color has a different meaning so be sure you're not friendzoning the love of your life with yellow roses and giving sympathy to a friend who needs none! Below is a quick breakdown on rose colors and what they (typically) mean:

Red Roses for Love and Romance: Traditionally, red roses are symbolic of love and romance and is the universal way to say "I Love You" to someone special. Across all cultures and geographic locations, red roses symbolize true love. Historically speaking; however, red roses are a political symbol for the socialist party in Britain, Ireland, France and Spain,  and religious significance in Christianity and Islam as well.

Yellow Roses for Friendship and Getting Well: Yellow roses are symbolic for a platonic friendship (a perfect give if you want to friendzone someone) and since the color is affiliated with the sun, it is believed that the warmth of the rose is perfect for making someone feel better. As such, they're considered to be ideal for a get well bouquet. The roses were discovered growing naturally in the Middle East in the 18th century and their popularity has soared since.

White Roses for Sympathy: The white rose was the first flower that represented true love, but that has changed since red roses have taken their place. The rose represents unity and pureness, which is why it was also known as the wedding flower. Since the flower is also associated with honor, it is often used for remembering a departed loved one in funeral and sympathy arrangements.

Orange Roses for Desire and Passion: Orange roses are unique, as they ombre from yellow to red and are symbolice of desire and passion. The rose is not one you find naturally in nature -- it was created by rose cultivators in the 20th century after hybridization techniques became more advanced and mainstream. Because they're a cross between yellow and red roses, gifting these roses is often a symbolic message of "I want to be more than friends."

Pink Roses for Love And Appreciation: Pink roses symbolize grace and elegance, as well as romance. They're similar to red roses in the sense that gifting them will send a clear message of love, but it doesn't have to be the romantic kind. That said, dark pink roses symbolize gratitude and apprecation so that is a great way to say thank you. Light pink roses are also commonly used for an expression of sympathy.

Lavender Flowers for Royalty And Love at First Sight: The lavender rose is a rare shade and the color alone is symbolic of royalty and majesty. In the case of gifting purple roses, know that it symbolizes love at first site. 

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