The rose has a rich influence on the history, culture, economy, art, and literature of Brazil. Roses have played a significant role in shaping the country’s vast and diverse culture. The rose’s significance in Brazil traces back to the colonial era when Portuguese settlers introduced the flower to the country. Since then, the rose has etched itself into the nation’s identity. The emblematic flower stands as a testament to the nation’s deep-rooted connections and creative expressions.
Although there is limited information about the use of roses before the arrival of Portuguese colonizers, many believe that some indigenous tribes used roses for medicinal purposes.
During the colonial era, Portugal established a colony in Brazil, which lasted for over three centuries. Most probably, the Portuguese colonizers first brought the roses to Brazil in the 16th century. Moreover, the country’s first botanical garden which is the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden, resulted from the Portuguese prince’s decision to establish a garden to adapt foreign plants into the local climate. The garden which was founded in 1808 is now home to an abundant species of plants including roses. In addition, the garden played a significant role in the cultivation and propagation of roses in Brazil.
From its ancient roots of being a flower among the elite to its current state as a cultural symbol, the rose has continued to be relevant in the history and culture of Brazil.
Roses are an essential part of many Brazilian festivals and celebrations. The most notable of these is the Festa da Rosa (Rose Festival) in Sapiranga, Rio Grande do Sul. Also known as the “City of Roses”, Sapiranga holds the festival every year in November and dedicates the event to the cultivation and display of roses. The festival includes a parade of floats decorated with roses, a flower exhibition, and a competition for the most beautiful rose. Another festival that takes place in various parts of Brazil is the Festa do Divino (Feast of the Divine). During this festival, roses beautify the streets, houses, and churches. Additionally, people make flower garlands out of roses for the participants.
Roses hold a significant place in Brazilian folklore and symbolism. In Brazilian culture, people often use roses at weddings and other romantic occasions. Red roses, in particular, are a symbol of love and are popular during Valentine’s Day celebrations. Indeed, roses have become an integral part of Brazilian culture, and their significance continues to be celebrated to this day.
The rose industry in Brazil has been growing at a rapid pace in recent years, with the state of Ceará being the fastest-growing floricultural region in the country. According to a scientific journal, the production of roses in the Ceará region of Brazil grew from 25 hectares in 1999 to an estimated 400 hectares in 2007. High demand from the local and international markets has driven this growth.
Brazil is a major producer and exporter of roses, with the United States, Europe, and Japan being its major markets. The country’s favorable climate and fertile soil make it an ideal location for rose cultivation. The rose industry in Brazil has created numerous job opportunities, particularly in rural areas where employment opportunities are narrow.
Additionally, the industry has generated significant revenue for Brazil through overall rising export sales. The rose industry has also contributed to Brazil’s tourism industry. In fact, Brazil is famous for its beautiful gardens and flower festivals, which attract tourists from all over the world. The city of Holambra in the state of São Paulo, which many people call the “Capital of Flowers” hosts the largest flower festival in Latin America. The annual festival, known as Expoflora, attracts thousands of tourists every year and generates significant revenue for the local economy. The festival showcases a variety of flowers, including roses, and features cultural events, food, and music.
In addition to the flower festival, Brazil is also home to numerous botanical gardens and parks that showcase the country’s rich flora. These gardens and parks attract tourists from all over the world and contribute to the country’s tourism industry.
ARTISTIC AND LITERARY INFLUENCE
Roses also play a significant role in Brazilian art and literature. The Bossa Nova movement of the 1950s and 1960s, which was centered in Rio de Janeiro, featured numerous songs that referenced roses, such as “Rosa Morena” by Dorival Caymmi and “Rosa de Hiroshima” by Vinicius de Moraes. Roses have also been a popular subject in Brazilian literature, with notable works including “The Rose of the People” by Carlos Drummond de Andrade.
- Visual Arts – Roses are a popular subject among artists and one notable example is “Rosas 374” by Simone Reis. In this masterpiece, the artist depicts the five senses through the image of five deep red roses. On the other hand, roses are also a common theme in the artworks of contemporary artist Douglas Frasquetti. For example, his “Jar with Roses” paints a vibrant and intricate image of roses in full bloom.
- Literature – In classic Brazilian literature, roses were often used as a symbol of a wide range of emotions. In the book entitled “The Imitation Of The Rose” by Clarice Lispector, roses represent the conflicting feelings of the protagonist, Laura. Writer and poet Adelia Prado (“The Mystical Rose”) uses the rose as a representation of human concerns, especially from a woman’s point of view.
Whether in classic or contemporary works, the rose is a powerful and evocative symbol that continues to captivate readers.
Rose Varieties in Brazil
Brazil is not only rich in diverse flora and fauna but is also home to an array of rose varieties. From the tropical rainforests of the Amazon to the high-altitude plateaus of the South, Brazil’s rose varieties are as diverse as its landscapes. The most commonly grown varieties in Brazil are hybrid tea, floribunda, and grandiflora roses. Currently, several rose farms have developed cultivars that are better adapted to Brazil’s climate. One of the biggest rose farms in the country is Ceará Roses and recently, they have been cultivating edible roses namely Ambiance, Avalanche+, Elisa, and many others.
In conclusion, roses have played a significant role in the history, culture, economy, art, and literature of Brazil. From their arrival with Portuguese colonizers to their current status as an important crop, roses have left an indelible mark on Brazilian society.