Easter is associated with memories of parades, family gatherings, church services, chocolate bunnies, gift baskets, egg decorating, and the famous Easter Lily. They are very popular for Easter gifts, and their unique trumpet shaped blossoms symbolize life, purity, hope, and the spiritual meaning of Easter along with the promise of Spring.
The Easter Lily was originally bought into the United States by a World War I soldier Louis Houghton. What was previously known as the Bermuda lily was first brought to the southern coast of Oregon in 1919. Houghton distributed an entire suitcase of the hybrid lily bulbs to various friends and family.
This lily proved to really thrive in the climate there. It was similar to the flower's native Ryukyu Islands of Japan. By the year 1945, there were over a thousand growers on the west coast harvesting these bulbs to sell. There are only about two full weeks during the year when these flowers are commercially available. Easter lilies are estimated to be the fourth largest potted plant crop in the United States, following the poinsettia, mum, and azalea.
History, mythology, and art are filled with stories and images that speak of the beauty and majesty of the elegant white flowers. One of the most famous Biblical references is in the Sermon on the Mount, when Christ said, "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they toil not, yet do they spin and yet Solomon was not arrayed like one of these. "
Lilies are often called the "White-Robed Apostles of Hope". Lilies were discovered in the Garden of Gethsemane after Christ died on the cross. During the Easter season, churches line their altars and envelop their crosses with a multitude of Easter Lilies, to signify the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the hope of eternal life.
Another concept associated with the pure white lily is that of womanhood. In some early paintings, the Angel Gabriel offers pure white lilies to the Virgin Mary, and this symbolizes that she will be the mother of Jesus. Other paintings show saints bringing vases of white lilies to Mary and the divine child. According to the legend, the flowers were formed when Eve claimed repentant tears upon leaving Eden, and the tears became lilies. The point of this legend is that true repentance leads to beauty.
Established through the centuries as a symbol of purity, grace, and the regal lifestyle, the white lily is a suitable reminder of the greater meaning of Easter. These flowers grace millions millions of homes and churches every year, embodying joy, hope, and life; Whether given as a gift or displayed proudly in one's home, the Easter lily remains a beauteous reminder of how Easter is a time for celebration and rejoicing. So when you purchase Easter baskets for your loved ones, do not hold back with decorated eggs and chocolates, but be certain to include a few Easter lilies as well!