Red Lilies Meaning and Symbolism (Love & Passion)

Red Lilies Meaning and Symbolism

Red lilies symbolize passion, unconditional love, fertility, motherhood, good fortune, the Virgin Mary, and eternal love.

Lilies appear in different cultures, traditions, and mythologies worldwide. It is a beautiful, feminine flower with a lot of meaning.

What does the Red Lily Symbolize?

1. Passion

Red Lily

A red lily blossom is also a symbol of passion. This flower might represent intense feelings and passionate moments shared with your partner.

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2. Unconditional love

The crimson lily, as a perennial flower, symbolizes romantic commitment, dedication, and everlasting love.

You can send someone a red lily flower as a present if you have feelings for them. Red lilies are often associated with proposals, but they are also appropriate for weddings.

3. Fertility

Red Lily

The Assyrians and Babylonians associated lilies with Ishtar, the goddess of fertility. Thus, people will often give lilies as a gift to a woman who has recently fallen pregnant, or at her baby shower.

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4. Motherhood

Lilies evoke the concepts of rebirth and motherhood because of the Greek story of Hera and Zeus. In this story, some of Hera’s breast milk (from breast feeding her son Hercules) spattered to earth, causing the first ever lilies to bloom.

5. Eternal Love

Red Lily

Lilies are used at weddings in China because they are associated with 100 years of love. They are also associated with good fortune in Chinese culture.

If using red lilies in a wedding, you’ll often want to mix them with white lilies, which are also used in weddings.

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6. Virgin Mary

Catholics connected Lilies, particularly Madonna lilies, with the Virgin Mary. While this is most commonly the white lily (symbolic of Mary’s purity), the red lily may also be used as a symbol of Mary in Catholic culture.

7. Good Fortune

Red Lily

In Chinese culture, lilies symbolize good fortune. The color red is also very auspicious within Chinese culture, which may be one reason why red lilies are so closely associated with the concept of good fortune.

The Meaning of Red Lilies in Ancient Greece

The origin of the lily has a connection with the story of Hera and Zeus, especially the calla lily.

According to legend, Zeus wanted Hercules, his son, to drink Hera’s milk. Hera objected since Hercules was the son of another woman. While Hera was resting, Zeus brought Hercules to her to sip her milk, but she awakened and pushed him away.

As she pushed him away, her breast milk scattered. Most of it flew into the sky to form the milky way. But some milk fell to the ground, and lilies blossomed from the drips of milk that dropped on the ground.

The Symbolism of Red in Ancient Greece

Red was the color of blood and courage to the ancient Romans. They linked it to Mars, the god of war. Generals had crimson cloaks and painted their bodies red after victories, while Roman soldiers wore red tunics to combat.

On the other hand, red has a long history of connection with feelings of love, passion, faithfulness, and fertility. Archaeologists have discovered crimson carnelian beads engraved with the image of Hathor, the goddess of love and pleasure, that date back 15,000 years.

Brides wore a flammeum, or crimson shawl, at their weddings in ancient Rome. Chinese brides still wear red, walk down a red carpet, cover their faces with a red veil at their weddings nowadays.

Initially, red pigments were made from ochre, which is abundant in many places of the world, including Europe, Asia, South Africa, and Australia, where researchers have found early cave paintings. The color of this clay is reddish-brown. New methods for producing stronger, brighter red pigments popularized throughout the years.

Egyptians and Romans prized cinnabar, a mercuric mineral that varies in color from crimson to brick. On the ruins of Pompeii, there are Cinnabar paintings. The color was treasured and costly. The material, which was mined in Spain for elite Romans, was so poisonous that miners often died from exposure.

Red Flowers in Greek Mythology

The death of Adonis, for example, is associated with crimson roses in Greek mythology. Aphrodite/Venus, the goddess of love, was in love with this young guy.

Aphrodite came to Adonis’ help after he was hurt by a boar, only to discover his blood on the ground. The goddess made scarlet anemones, or windflowers, sprout where the drips landed.

Dianthus, often known as carnations, is a mythical flower. The goddess of the hunt, Artemis/Diana, was having a bad day. She blamed a shepherd playing his flute for frightening the wildlife away after a poor hunt.

She gouged out his eyeballs angrily. She felt horrible as her fury subsided, so she planted red carnations where the shepherd had bled on the ground.

The origin tale of the red rose also appears in Greek mythology. One day, Chloris, the goddess of flowers, discovered a dead nymph in the woods. Chloris was heartbroken at the death of such a lovely creature, so she turned her into a crimson rose.

Aphrodite enhanced the beauty of this rose. Dionysus gave the flower its exquisite aroma, and the wind god Zephyrus whisked away from the clouds, allowing the sun to shine on the lovely flower.

The Symbolism of the Color Red Throughout History

In the Middle Ages, red became the prominent color of Christianity, the reigning faith. Red was used to represent Christ’s blood in this context. Cardinals of the Catholic Church wore (and still wear) long crimson robes, linked with martyrs.

Royalty, power, and dignity have a historic association with this magnificent color. Researchers discovered red paint on a paint pallet in Egypt’s King Tut’s tomb. Reportedly, Charlemagne wore red shoes and decorated his palace with crimson walls.

The Meaning of Red Flowers

In the language of flowers, red blossoms play a significant role. Red blooms had a variety of connotations for the Victorians. These blossoms conveyed a tale and communicated essential messages when offered as floral presents.

Red carnations, for example, indicated love and beauty, but they may also indicate that the giver’s heart is grieving.

Red chrysanthemums and red roses both meant: “I love you.” Crimson salvia meant “Forever mine.” Red tulips were a proclamation of ardent, eternal love. Red ranunculus meant “I’m enchanted by your beauty.”

A scarlet columbine, on the other hand, represented fear and trepidation. Red hyacinths can convey a sense of whimsy.

The Spiritual Significance of Red Flowers

In numerous spiritual traditions, red flowers play an important role. Poinsettias, or red poinsettias, are a Christmas emblem for Christians. The “Christmas star” is the name given to this crimson flower.

Red roses represent Christ’s blood and are sometimes connected with the Virgin Mary. Red cyclamen are often associated with the Virgin Mary. Mary’s heart is thought to be bleeding for her son in the deep crimson core of the flower.

Red roses are also connected with some saints, such as St. Elizabeth of Hungary. When her husband discovered her, she surreptitiously handed bread to the destitute, and the bread transformed into red flowers.

A crimson lotus symbolizes compassion and love for Buddhists. A closed lotus depicts a state before enlightenment, but a flowering lotus indicates self-awareness.

Hindus use crimson hibiscus to honor the goddess Kali. These colorful blossoms are considered to bring prosperity and symbolize Kali’s tongue and wrath.

Western Red Lily Symbolism

The floral symbol of Saskatchewan is the Western Red Lily. Its look changes based on its surroundings. The bulbs are edible, and many indigenous cultures have collected them for food and medical purposes.

Swallowtail butterflies pollinate it, but hummingbirds often come to visit. These birds can gather nectar while avoiding the reproductive components of the plant. As a result, they are poor pollinators compared to butterflies.



Red is a symbol of passion. On the other hand, lilies are a symbol of feminity, fertility, and motherhood. Red lilies combine these two concepts to represent the idea of effervescent love. It’s a beautiful gift on many occasions, especially those that involve passionate emotions.