The rose has left a special impact on the rich fabric of Russian history, culture, economy, art, and literature, from the luxurious gardens of Russian palaces to the delicate words of poets. This exquisite flower has been more than just a symbol of beauty; it has been intertwined with the very essence of Russian life for centuries.
Roses first graced Russian soil through trade with the Byzantine Empire and the Arab world in ancient times. However, it was during the reign of Peter the Great in the 17th century when their cultivation gained momentum. As the Tsar and the nobility developed a fascination for horticulture, rose gardens sprung up in palaces, including the grand Peterhof Palace. Since then, Russian rose farmers have been growing these flowers ensuring their superior quality.
Throughout Russian culture, the rose has been an enduring emblem of love and admiration. It has been an ideal gift for expressing affection, especially during romantic occasions such as Valentine’s Day. Giving a bouquet of red roses to a loved one is a cherished tradition that still holds strong in Russia today. However, Russians have a few sets of rules when giving roses as a gift. For example, always give an odd number of flowers on happy occasions because even numbers are reserved for funerals and sympathy arrangements. Second, if you’re dating a Russian woman, you can start with lighter-colored roses and work your way up to crimson ones to symbolize the depth of your love. Last, avoid giving red carnations because they are associated with Soviet Union festivals. Indeed, roses, among other flowers, are a natural representation of Russian culture. Their symbolic richness conveys more than just natural beauty.
Russian rose festivals have become a cherished tradition, attracting enthusiasts from all corners of the nation. The Kazan Rose Festival, held annually in the city of Kazan, showcases breathtaking rose displays, offering a glimpse into Russia’s passion for this iconic flower.
The cultivation of roses has also been a significant aspect of Russia’s floral industry. Commercial flower cultivation has increased in the country, with roses being a popular crop for both home and export consumption. Russian rose growers have developed unique techniques to adapt to the colder climate, allowing for a diverse range of roses to be grown locally.
In Russia, there are 15 rose greenhouse complexes. The biggest rose-growing complexes in the Belgorod region are LLC Izovol Agro and MBU the Department of Belgorblagoustroystvo. Throughout 2019, interest in Russian roses has increased by 63.5% compared to 2018, shipping 121 tons in total. In the year 2020, Russia has seen a drop in exports as they shipped 117 tons of roses in total. In other words, rose exports surged by 68.06% between 2017 and 2019 earning Russia US$0.56 million in 2019.
ARTISTIC AND LITERARY INFLUENCE
The allure of roses inspired Russian artists to create stunning artworks that capture the flower’s beauty. One such renowned artist is Igor Levashov, a modern-day painter whose hyperrealistic floral still-life compositions include captivating renditions of roses. His intricate brushwork and vibrant colors bring these roses to life on the canvas.
In the realm of Russian literature, the rose has been celebrated by poets who have crafted verses extolling its virtues. Alexander Pushkin, one of Russia’s most revered poets, often uses roses in his works as metaphors for love and beauty. In his poem “I Loved You,” he writes, “I loved you, and perhaps this flame has not gone out completely in my soul. The rose’s aroma in your hair still lingers.”
The influence of roses in Russia extends beyond just literature and art. The beauty of the rose has influenced architectural designs, with rose motifs adorning buildings and cathedrals, like the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Moscow’s Kremlin.
Roses of Russia
Among the many notable roses in Russia, the “Queen of Denmark” stands out. This delicate pink rose, believed to have been brought to Russia during the reign of Catherine the Great, still graces many gardens across the country. Another popular variety is the “Alexander Pushkin” rose, which pays tribute to the renowned poet and features rich, crimson petals.
In conclusion, the rose’s journey through Russian history has been one of allure, inspiration, and deep cultural significance. From the gardens of royalty to the verses of poets, the rose has left its fragrant mark on Russia’s heart. As the country continues to bloom and thrive, the rose will forever stand as a symbol of love, beauty, and admiration in this vast and diverse nation.