National Carnation Day

At one point in human history, carnations were the most popular flower in the world. They symbolized a mother’s undying love, and carnations were used in a variety of sauces, salads, and vinegar products.

They were even used to make beer and wine during the Elizabethan Era. Carnations were used in food and drinks because they had a scent that has been described as “intoxicating” and “heady.” Unfortunately, carnations ended up losing popularity, and the rose would take its place as the most popular flower.

That doesn’t have to be the case, however. Thanks to National Carnation Day, a holiday observed annually on January 29th, we can help the carnation climb back to the number one flower position.

The History of National Carnation Day

Carnations have been cultivated by humans for over 2,000 years. Throughout the years, these flowers were not only loved for their beauty but also for their fragrance. They were even mentioned in mythology and were the chosen flower for Greek ceremonies as they were used for garlands and crowns.

These flowers are also featured in Christian belief. When the Virgin Mary witnessed Jesus carrying the cross, she reportedly cried, and where her tears fell, carnations grew. This is why the pink carnation has come to represent a mother’s undying love for her child.

Of course, carnations have somewhat of a different meaning in modern society. What a carnation symbolizes depends mainly on its color. For example, the red carnation is a symbol of passionate love, while the white carnation symbolizes pure love. Purple carnations have traditionally been given as condolences at funerals, and yellow carnations symbolize disappointment.

National Carnation Day was created in memory of President William McKinley, who was born on January 29th, 1843. This politician and U.S. President often wore carnations on his lapel as he considered them to be good luck.

He also used them in his office, not only in vases but sometimes in whole baskets full of them. He also passed out carnations to anyone who came into his office while he was President. So it shouldn’t be any wonder that when McKinley died in 1901, the date of his birthday was turned into this holiday.

Observing National Carnation Day

Enjoying this holiday is as easy as buying some carnations and using them in creative ways. Perhaps they can be used to decorate homes or offices, or maybe they can be used for some type of art project. People can also find the joy of cooking with carnations again. After all, there are about a thousand different carnation recipes currently available online.

When is it?
This year (2024)
January 29 Monday
Next year (2025)
January 29 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
January 29 Sunday
Nature & Environment