When I retired as a humanist celebrant I thought I'd stop writing this blog, but my fascination with all things death-related prompted more posts. They're just written from a slightly different perspective, that's all. Oh, and I still do the odd one, by special request.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

White chrysanthemums

White chrysanthemums are popular with funeral florists, who use them to spell out tributes for "MUM", "DAD", and various other names or relationships.

Some funeral flower facts for you:

White chrysanthemums are associated with funerals in Eastern Europe and in China, Japan and Korea.

Floral tributes became popular here from the 19th century, partly for their symbolism, but also because they were used, with aromatic herbs like rosemary, to try to hide the smell of putrescent bodies.

After the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, it became increasingly popular to lay floral tributes for strangers at the site of car accidents, murders and disasters. The florists did very well out of Diana Princess of Wales' funeral, when thousands of flowers were heaped in the streets of London.

Some of the nicest floral tributes I've seen were informal ones that had been picked from mourners' own gardens. White chrysanthemums don't lend themselves to informality.


Charles Cowling said...

Interesting, in this age of the personalised funeral, how people buy production-line Interflora arrangements, making their dead person's box look just like any body else's.

As for cellophane... No, no, let's not go there!

Stacey Lang said...

Chrysanthemum is the favourite flower of my late grandfather. I didn't know that it is one of the most common type of traditional funeral flower but I do love its scent.

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