Flowers and Bouquet-Giving Culture in Russia

Men often ask whether it is appropriate to give flowers to your date. Unlike Western dating culture where bringing flowers on the first can be regarded as obsolete or unnecessary move, in Russia flowers are a must on every important occasion and a date is one of them. Russian girls enjoy receiving flowers. Giving flowers, you express your affection and at the same time compliment your date.

Since Russian women are experts in flowers, you should know the basic rules of choosing and giving bouquets. By the way a man presents a girl with flowers she can tell what he is thinking about her and how he treats her. In order to make a good impression on your date, read the following tips that will give you insight into the culture of giving flowers.

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  • An odd number is only acceptable.

In the USA flowers are usually sold in dozens and it’s OK to buy them in even numbers. The situation is different in Russia. Here, only the odd number of flowers is considered appropriate. People bring the even amount of flowers for sad occasions such as funerals. Two flowers are also brought to the cemetery to put on the graves in commemoration. That is why you should take into account cultural differences and present your Russian date with a bouquet consisting of an odd number of flowers. In case you bought an even number of flowers out of habit and realize it only at the moment you actually give them to your date, explain to her that this amount is absolutely normal in your country. Since thirteen is considered a bad number in Russia (and in some other countries as well), avoid buying bunches of 13 flowers.

  • Yellow flowers are not for a date.

In Russian culture yellow flowers are the symbol of the near parting. They are also given to a person who leaves home. If a man wants to hint at his decision to break up soon, he brings yellow flowers to his girlfriend. You should keep that in mind and stay away from giving yellow flowers if you do not plan to part with your date. There is, however, one exception to the rule: if you know that it’s her favorite color and she is free from any superstitions, you can bring her a yellow bouquet without fear of being taken the wrong way.

  • Red carnations should be avoided.

In Russia, red carnations are considered to be the symbols of war and the Soviet army. They are usually laid on the common graves of soldiers who died during the Second World War on Victory day. These flowers became the symbol of lost lives in the war. Being aware of that, don’t give red carnations to your date in order to avoid any misunderstanding. There are a lot of beautiful flowers to choose from.

  • The quality of a bouquet is important.

As it was mentioned before, Russian girls are very serious about flowers so you should pay attention to the quality of a bouquet you buy. The flowers should be fresh cut so that they will last longer. To choose the freshest bouquet, take a look at the edges of the petals and leaves. If they are curved and darkened or you see that some of the petals have been removed, you should go to another flower stand. Many Russian girls believe that flowers can sense a person’s mood or their feelings. There is a popular belief among Russian women that if the flowers given by a girl’s boyfriend wither very soon, it means that he doesn’t love her enough and their relationship will not last long and will “wilt” like that bouquet.

  • Modest flowers are the cutest.

Many Russian girls like wild flowers of the field. Chamomiles are one of the most popular with them. They can be called the Russian traditional flowers. They are beautiful and humble at the same time, just as Slavic girls. Also, the fact that they are not sold everywhere makes them special.