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Birth Flower for the Month of January

Carnation
Carnation Birth Flower for January

Red - Worldly Desires and Approval
Purple - Unpredictable and Opposing
Pink - Symbol of Mother's Day
White- True and Pure Love

Good Luck Gift to a Woman

The first mention of carnations was when the Crusaders were stricken with plague, in the thirteenth century, near Tunis. They mixed the leaves of carnations with wine and drank it to control the raging fevers. In his sixteenth-century herbal, John Gerard wrote that the flowers of carnations and sugar, mixed to a conserve, was used to expel fevers and poison and was good to "comfort the heart." Carnations were used for black hair dye, and to flavor beer, ale, and wine.

According to a Christian legend, Mary began to cry when she saw Jesus carrying the cross. Where her tears fell, carnations began to grow which may have been why the Pink carnation was chosen as a symbol of motherly love.

Margherita, according to an Italian legend, was a young woman who fell in love with a knight whose name was Orlando. Margherita gave Orlando a white carnation, which he carried with him, when he was called to war. Orlando's blood stained the center of the white carnation when he was mortally wounded. The white carnation was returned to the heartbroken Margherita who planted the seeds. Every blossom that came from the seeds was white with crimson centers. Margherita remained true to Orlando forever and never married. It became a custom in Margherita's family to deliver to each baby girl born into the family, a vase of white carnations with crimson centers.

Carnations were used in many countries and many cultures. They were used to tell fortunes in Korea. Young girls would place three carnations in their hair. It signified that her last years would be difficult if the top flower died first. The earlier years would be difficult and hard if the center flower died first, and superstition held that her entire life would be miserable if the bottom flower died first.

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