‘Rose Day’ brings attention to symbolic meaning of rose colors, bouquet size

By Lim Jeong-yeo
  • Published : May 14, 2018 - 14:26
  • Updated : May 14, 2018 - 17:10

Flowers have been a symbolic agent for the expression of love through time and space.

For Koreans who have attributed special meanings to the 14th day of each month, May presents “Rose Day,” when lovers are encouraged to convey the contents of their hearts in a bouquet of roses.


Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation (aT) on this day urged the general population to alleviate overcast sentiments in the local flower market by gifting roses to a special someone.

To help consumers make informed choices, aT has released a helpful breakdown of the meanings behind the color of roses and the deeper message they can plant in the bouquet by thoughtful selection of the number of bulbs.

Red roses: Passionate love
Pink roses: An avowal of love
White roses: Respect, purity
Blue roses: Miracle
Lavender roses: Eternal love

A single rose: My love is for you only
Ten roses: 10+10 in Korean language can be read as yeol-ryeol, meaning “ardently.”
44 roses: 4+4 in Korean makes the sound “sa-sa.” “Sa” is the first syllable for “sarang” which means “love” in Korean. Hence, 44 roses are interpreted here as “love and love.”
99 roses: One bulb short of a hundred, 99 roses mark an everlasting love.

Elsewhere around the globe, a dozen red roses is the most popular choice for the messages “Be mine” and “I love you.”

Additionally, a bouquet of randomly mixed colors of roses can send the message of uncertain, yet deep emotions for the person receiving the flowers.

Seoul Rose Festival is slated to take place in Jungnang-gu from May 18 through 20. (Yonhap)
People stroll in the rose garden in Jungnang-gu, Seoul, where the Seoul Rose Festival is set to take place from May 18 through 20. (Yonhap)
Roses are in full bloom at the Gwangju City Hall garden on May 14. (Yonhap)
Gwangju City Hall boasts a beautiful selection of British roses in full bloom at its garden on May 14. (Yonhap)

By Lim Jeong-yeo (