Blooms For Eastern Memorials
Of course, sending flowers symbolizing grief and sympathy in the Western world to an Eastern family can cause pain and embarrassment for everyone involved. Families from Laos, China, Japan, and other Asian countries tend to prefer the same types of blossoms. Some smart choices include:
- Light yellow flowers with peaceful meanings, like the lotus, lily, or orchid
- Plain white blossoms featuring may curved petals, such as chrysanthemums and carnations
- Larkspurs, foxgloves, or practically any other flower as long as it’s white or yellow.
Never send roses or bright red flowers of any kind to an Eastern family in bereavement. This is the color of joy and happiness, so it goes against the mood of a family grieving a loss. You don’t need to give flowers native to China or Thailand specifically if they’re hard to find in your area, but it is important to get the color meaning right or you risk seriously offending the family receiving your gift.
Modern Sympathy Flowers
Today’s families make more eclectic choices when decorating for memorials and funerals. It’s always appropriate to choose the favorite flowers of the person who passed away in honor of their life and memory. Stargazer lilies have become very popular in the last few decades for people looking for something new. These bold blooms are speckled with bright colors, but still look graceful and peaceful when arranged around a coffin. The white peace lily has also enjoyed three or four decades of association with funerals and sympathy. It’s usually given as a living potted plant instead of a trimmed bouquet. Many people are turning to Buddhist or other spiritual traditions too for inspiration, leading to the widespread use of orchids and lotuses at modern funerals across the globe.