World Iris Day is a celebration of the beauty, cultural significance, and environmental importance of the Iris flower.
World Iris Day was first established in 2005 by the European Iris Society to celebrate the beauty and diversity of the iris flower. Since then, the holiday has spread worldwide and has become a way to not only appreciate the flower but also to raise awareness about the importance of preserving its natural habitats.
Symbolism of the Iris Flower
According to Greek mythology, the flower is named after iris, goddess of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. The fleurs-de-lis, which is a depiction of the flower, is a recurring symbol of nobility. Irises come in many colors and can be found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere zones, Europe, Asia, and North America.
Traditions and Customs
Around the world, people celebrate World Iris Day in a variety of ways. In Japan, people gather at iris gardens to appreciate the flowers and enjoy traditional food and music. In Florence, Italy, a city symbolized by the flower, irises play a central role in the annual historic soccer game, Calcio Storico.
May 8 also marks Germany’s surrender in WWII. In addition, it is the feast day Saint Michael the Archangel, the patron saint of Brussels. For these reasons, the city celebrates with free concerts, street festivities, and even a food truck festival.
Celebrating World Iris Day
Many gardening clubs and botanical societies hold events and exhibitions to showcase different species of iris. Additionally, people often send iris flowers to loved ones as a way of conveying a message of love, hope, and faithfulness.
Here are a few ideas for celebrating World Iris Day this year:
- Visit a botanical garden or local iris farm
- Send an iris bouquet to a loved one
- Create art inspired by the iris flower
- Attend a local iris festival or exhibition
- Plant your own iris garden