Brands of Designer Handbags That Are The Most Affordable – Part 1

Finding which brands of designer handbags are most affordable usually comes down to who has the best outlet stores, or where the best sales are. However, there are some designers that are most likely to have lower prices than others, especially if you’re confined to shopping at regular retail stores rather than outlets and eBay.

For the average handbag shopper, there are some standout brands that allow them to have the feel of a designer purse slung over their shoulder without breaking the bank. These designers range from Guess to Coach.

Coach

Coach bags are one of the most popular lower-priced designer brands and tend to fall into the low to mid hundreds. You can find some styles in limited colors in Coach outlet stores. You may also have a Coach retail store near you; expect them to have the widest range of colors and designs. If you don’t, there’s always Coach.com. Additionally, you can pick up your next Coach bag at a department store like Macy’s and Nordstrom (don’t forget to browse online, especially if you live in a rural area without easy access to these stores).

Coach prides itself on providing customers with affordable luxury. This American brand has long dominated the handbag market with its timeless designs, high-quality leather, remarkable stitch work, and exceptional craftsmanship. After 70 plus years, Coach continues to wow customers with its classic offerings.

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Dooney and Bourke

Dooney and Bourke, too, are roughly in the low to mid hundreds. They are also available in your average department store like Belk, Macy’s, or Nordstrom. You can find everything from hobo styles to drawstring bags within the Dooney and Bourke line. Shop for them at the aforementioned department stores (online or in your local mall), at Dooney and Bourke outlets, or at Dooney.com.

 Dooney & Bourke Pebble Ariel Satchel

Kate Spade

Kate Spade bags are similarly priced to the Coach and Dooney and Bourke selections. There are many department stores that carry Kate Spade bags, and outlet stores where you can get even this affordable bag brand for a less expensive price. If you shop at an outlet store, there may even be enough left in the budget to allow for a matching wallet. You can always shop at the Kate Spade website, too, for a wide selection of colorful bags.

Kate Spade arrived on the fashion scene in 1993, but she honed her eye for fashion as an accessories editor for Mademoiselle. Her fashion empire started with a little black nylon bag. The brand can be described as sleek, sophisticated and smart.

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While the aforementioned handbags will no doubt continue to be some of the most sought, there will definitely be new designers that forge their way into your closet. New designers continue to enter the market, and e-commerce channels are growing in popularity and causing women to continue to empty their coin purses to snag the hottest new designers.

More to come in Part 2 of this Series on Affordable Designer Handbags!

(Information from handbags.lovetoknow.com)

The Rose Gold Hermes Kelly Bag. Price Tag: $2 Million

Designed by Hermes in collaboration with jeweler and shoe designer Pierre Hardy, this Hermes Kelly is made out of solid rose gold dotted with a total of 1160 diamonds. The bag (bag-bracelet?) can be carried conventionally or worn with the handles around the wrist as a sort of bangle. 

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This isn’t just a piece of jewelry, though. Hardy molded the rose gold to look like crocodile leather, and the flap closure actually works, although the bag is too small to hold even a pair of sunglasses. Total manufacturing time on the pieces (yes, there are four styles made three times each, for a total of 12 bags, according to the Financial Times) was two years.

Hermes had plans to make $24 million on a dozen of these tiny bags. This is probably a genius move based on what we know about Hermes’ dedicated and wealthy customer base.  Women who would purchase this bag would likely also patronize extremely high-end jewelers as well, and it doesn’t seem outside the realm of possibility that 12 of them would have both the excessive means and the collector’s compulsion to snatch up one of these bag-bracelets. If only so that they can display it in their surely vast closets. After all, being stinkin’ rich makes most people kind of crazy.

Hermes is a brand that monitors its own public image very, very carefully, so the two years lead time and considerable resources that went into making these bags were obviously pored over in every detail. The end result fits with the brand identity very well: extravagant wealth, fantastical luxury, the best of everything, a strong sense of the house’s history. Don’t be surprised if these pieces sell out quickly and more projects like this one come forth in the future. After all, Hermes is one of the only brands in the world that has the kind of devoted, wealthy customer base that can make a would-be publicity gimmick into a sell able piece of company history.

(Information obtained from Purseblog.com)

The 12 Most Expensive Handbags in the World – Part 4

Handbags or purse whatever you call them, these fashion items have grown to be a typical fixture for the present day woman. Each of them will come in various brands, figures, styles, and colors. Some are made for top quality fashion, while some are created to check the metropolitan chic. In any case, a lot of women don’t venture out without their handbags.

Lana Marks Cleopatra Bag: Price Tag $250,000

Lana Marks produces only one Cleopatra bag every year, made of metallic silver alligator skin and a clasp with 1,500 black and white diamonds in 18-carat white gold.

Lana Marks Cleopatra Bag

The idea for a luxury exotic leather fashion brand came in 1984, when Lana Marks and her husband were invited to a birthday celebration for Queen Elizabeth II aboard the royal yacht Britannia. A fruitless search for a red alligator handbag to match her suit led Marks to conclude that a niche existed in the marketplace for luxury, exotic leather fashion handbags in fabulous colors. She devoted several years to studying the techniques of accessories design and Italian production, working with the most skilled artisans in the world. In 1988, she launched her first design, a hot pink alligator lunchbox handbag. It was an instant success.

LANA MARKS has become synonymous with the most luxurious, fashion forward handbags in the world, crafted from such exotic leathers as alligator, crocodile, ostrich and lizard. Her accessories have become a favorite among such royalty and entertainment style-makers as Julie Christie, Helen Mirren, Jennifer Aniston, Charlize Theron, Chloe Sevigny, Lucy Liu, Oprah Winfrey, Kate Winslet, Drew Barrymore, Sarah Jessica Parker, Reese Witherspoon, Madonna, and the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

Chanel Diamond Forever Classic Bag: Price Tag $261,000

The Chanel Diamond Forever Classic Bag features a staggering total of 334 diamonds (a total of 3.56 carats) set in 18-carat white gold. The shoulder straps are also made from white gold. Chanel has made only 13 of these bags.

Chanel Diamond Forever Classic Bag

Chanel’s Diamond Forever Classic Bag is a limited edition and highly coveted handbag. With only 13 available worldwide, this handbag sits upon the accessory throne as one of the most expensive luxury handbags in the world. The Chanel Diamond Forever Classic Bag is adorned with 3.56 carats made up of 334 diamonds, 18 carat white gold hardware, and white alligator skin. Five of these ostentatious handbags were available the in the United States. The price tag on this little beauty is a staggering $261,000. Yes, the price was sky high, but these bags are masterpieces, works of art. With only 13 being made, owning one would be similar to an art collector owning a Picasso.

Hermes Birkin bag by Japanese designer Ginza Tanaka: Price Tag $1.9 million

Hermes Birkin bag by Japanese designer Ginza Tanaka

Japanese designer Ginza Tanaka made the body for this Hermes Birkin bag with 100% platinum. As if this wasn’t fascinating enough, she adorned it with 2,000 diamonds and an 8-carat pear-shaped shimmering diamond. Both the removable strap and the diamond can be used separately as a bracelet or necklace.

And the last and most expensive Ladies Handbag is:

The 1001 Nights Diamond Purse by House of Mouawad: Price Tag $3.8 Million

The 1001 Nights Diamond Purse by House of Mouawad

This is the world’s most expensive handbag and certified by Guinness Book of World Record as just that. The heart shaped purse is encrusted with 4,517 diamonds in yellow, pink and colourless variants totalling to 381.92 carats. It took ten skilled artisans and a total of 8,800 hours to create this accessory.

(Information from Luxos.com)

The 12 Most Expensive Handbags in the World – Part 3

Handbags or purse whatever you call them, these fashion items have grown to be a typical fixture for the present day woman. Each of them will come in various brands, figures, styles, and colors. Some are made for top quality fashion, while some are created to check the metropolitan chic. In any case, a lot of women don’t venture out without their handbags.

Hermes Matte Crocodile Birkin Bag: Price Tag $120,000

This bag, inspired by French actress Jane Birkin, is made of crocodile skin and its clasp features 10 carats of white diamonds.

Hermes Matte Crocodile Birkin Bag

The exclusive white Himalaya Birkin, handmade from Niloticus crocodile with more than 240 diamonds on its 18-karat-gold hardware, is routinely in the top spot for most expensive bag.

Handout: Most expensive bag Birkin

Celebrities, of course, love the bag. David Beckham, who is worth $350 million, bought his clothing designer wife, Victoria, an albino Nilo crocodile Himalayan Birkin in 2008 for a reported £80,000 (or about $100,000). Victoria Beckham has a collection of over 100 Birkin bags! Kim Kardashian has also been spotted with the Himalayan.

Urban Satchel Louis Vuitton Bag: Price Tag $150,000

The Louis Vuitton Urban Satchel Bag looks more like a pile of rubbish and comes with an extremely hefty price tag.

Urban Satchel Louis Vuitton Bag

The most expensive Louis Vuitton handbag is also the most controversial one – it has been criticized even more than the patchwork bag. Why? Because well, let’s be honest: it looks like your garbage can was run over and the content glued together. That is not even far off, because the Urban Satchel is made of recycled items such as water bottles, cigarette packs and chewing gum wrappers. But it is also made of the world’s finest Italian leather and Ashley Olsen signed a multi-million dollar deal to promote the bag. The Urban Satchel bag is handcrafted to represent urban life.

A Louis Vuitton handbag can be a great investment because luxury brands like these tend to remain immensely popular and will often increase in value.

Stay tuned for more about The Most Expensive Handbags in the World in Part 4 of this series!

(Information from Luxos.com)

The 12 Most Expensive Handbags in the World – Part 2

Handbags or purse whatever you call them, these fashion items have grown to be a typical fixture for the present day woman. Each of them will come in various brands, figures, styles, and colors. Some are made for top quality fashion, while some are created to check the metropolitan chic. In any case, a lot of women don’t venture out without their handbags.

Of course, this list would not be complete without the designer of these next two handbags.

One of the most renowned luxury handbag producers on the planet is Louis Vuitton. The company got its start in Paris in 1854, and since its founding it has become a global empire with revenues of over $10 billion per year. The company’s monogrammed purses can easily be spotted around the world, and wearing a Louis Vuitton handbag is very much a status symbol. While most of the brand’s offerings are expensive, with even small bags costing several thousand dollars, a select few Louis Vuitton purses have record breaking price tags.

Louis Vuitton Tribute Patchwork Bag: Price Tag $42,000

Only 24 of these patchwork bags exist and were created using 15 different Louis Vuitton patterns.

Louis Vuitton Tribute Patchwork Bag

This bag caused a huge buzz when it debuted in 2007 for many reasons. While some clamored to get one due to its exclusivity, including celebrities such as Beyonce and Rihanna, others were unimpressed with the bag’s mish-mash of styles. To create the concept for the Tribute Patchwork Bag, Louis Vuitton basically combined different parts of 15 different bags from one of its spring/summer collections. When you look at it, you see a handle from one handbag, a pocket from another, and motifs and patterns from many others — visually, some deemed the purse to be an expensive trainwreck.

Others who didn’t mind shelling out $45,000 for the purse thought it was creative and artsy. The reason the Tribute Patchwork Bag is so expensive is partly because it’s from Louis Vuitton, and also because it’s a limited edition and only 24 units were made. Each one of the two dozen purses quickly sold out, so the only way to get one now is to pay even more for the purse at auction or through private sale. This definitely isn’t one of the classiest Louis Vuitton handbags ever made, but it ranks among the brand’s most costly and most talked about purses.

Louis Vuitton New Age Traveller backpack: Price Tag $54,500

The LV New Age Traveller backpack features various lurex jacquard woven Monogram fabrics alongside exotic skins including crocodile and snakeskin. The bag also has suede leather tassels and headphone cables, and two furry fox tail charms.

Louis Vuitton New Age Traveller backpack

One look at this stunning Louis Vuitton New Age Traveler Backpack and you are sure to be under its spell. Adorned with tassels, this beautiful backpack comes with a $54,000 price tag! The cream bag with the Louis Vuitton monogram pattern is one hot accessory. Made from exquisite materials and flaunting the luxurious LV logo this bag is for the uber rich chics only. Out of the reach of many, this backpack is definitely a class apart.

Leiber Precious Rose: Price Tag $92,000

Leiber Precious Rose

The Leiber Precious Rose accessory features 1,016 diamonds totaling 42.56 carats, 1,169 pink sapphires and 800 tourmalines, all set in 18-carat white gold. So precious, that there is only one available in the world.

It is a matter of open reality that this bag is still one of the most expensive bags available on the face of this planet these days. The Judith Leiber’s 2007 Precious Rose ladies handbag is only one of its kind on earth.

The Precious Rose is an adorable little red bud of the ladies handbag, and the strap is apparently manufactured from the same metallic kidskin that lines the petite fleur. The bag, obviously leaving hardly any room for the owner’s stuff, must be designed as arm chocolate rather than a tote. Unfortunately, this important cluster of gems is no more offered by Judith Leiber boutiques, or online. Only 1 part was made and was sold much before it premiered.

Though it is almost impossible to locate, we must expect that the Precious Rose is currently in possession of a remarkably wealthy star or royal family member.  In addition, depending on who is the owner of this unique creation, the bag may be worth even more than its retailed $92,000.

More Expensive Handbags to come in Part 3 of this series.

(Information from luxos.com)

The 12 Most Expensive Handbags in the World – Part 1

Many women heavily depend on expensive and branded purchase of items due to the fact that they provide class, longevity, style and further intensifies their beauty and image in public. The insatiable wishes of women can only be satisfied by providing them with the chicest and best in class accessories and clothing. One such and most wanted accessory are branded and elegant handbags.

Handbag or purse whatever you call it, this fashion item has become a common fixture for contemporary women. These babies come in all shapes, sizes, brands, colors, and styles. Some are designed to complement the urban street style woman while others are created for high-end fashion. Whatever the case may be, 90% of women don’t leave the house without their handbags.

Here are 12 of the most expensive handbags in the world: 

Marc Jacob’s Carolyn Crocodile Handbag : Price is $30,000

Marc Jacobs Carolyn Crocodile Handbag

Made of purple crocodile skin, this beautiful quilted Carolyn handbag is made of purple crocodile skin, and is one of Marc Jacob’s most popular bags.

Marc Jacobs is a person who knows how to turn ordinary things into a style testament. He is a designer with a fashion empire of his own; clothing, accessories, jewelry, fragrances, and yes… Handbags! There’s no second opinion when it comes to Marc Jacobs Handbags, especially the exotic ones like Carolyn Crocodile Handbag.

The pride of this bag is not in its brand or its texture; Marc Jacobs Carolyn Crocodile Handbag is made with exclusive exotic crocodile skin. And, that fabulous shade of purple dye… it’s to die for!!

The exterior is quilted while the interior of the bag is duly segmented in a leather finish. It’s not just a showpiece but a fully functional handbag. There are separators and extra pockets that allow easy organization and segregation of contents.

Fendi Selleria Bag: Price Tag $38,000

Fendi Selleria Bag

The Fendi Selleria Bag features two of the world’s rarest and most expensive animal skins: sable and chinchilla.

Edoardo Fendi and Adele Casagrande found instant success in Rome when they opened their high-quality leather-goods and fur shop in 1925. In 1965, Karl Lagerfeld started designing for the brand and launched its first women’s ready-to-wear collection in 1977. The men’s collection, created by the founders’ granddaughter Silvia Venturini Fendi, followed in 1990. Today, with Silvia Fendi and Lagerfeld still at the helm, Fendi is world-renowned for its innovative ready-to-wear, bags, and shoes.

Gadino Bag by Hilde Palladino: Price Tag $38,470

Gadino Bag by Hilde Palladino

Norwegian designer Hilde Palladino’s Gadino bag features 39 white diamonds hidden in clasps of white gold.

At the first glance, the Gadino bag appears to be nothing special and looks just like a regular bright white handbag. However, as you look closely, you’ll see the sparkle of 39 exotic diamonds worth $30,000, strategically placed in clasps created from pure white gold. WOW!

The fine white crocodile skinned bag comes with segmented leather interior and exterior. Extra pockets and separators additionally provide systematic separation of contents and smooth organization. It’s the little details and adornments that will blow your mind. This bag is certain to be spotted on arms of many fashionistas and A-list celebrities.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the 12 Most Expensive Handbags in the World.

(Information obtained from Luxos.com)

How to Dye Easter Eggs

Learn how to dye the prettiest Easter eggs with these easy tips and tricks. But first, you’ll make hard boiled eggs. Then have some fun trying different special effects!

How to Dye Easter Eggs: The Basics

  • To start, cover a table with layers of old newspaper to soak up any spills.
  • Create a drying rack by sticking pins into a sheet of thick foam board.
  • For colorfast egg dyes, mix 7-8 drops of food coloring into 1 cup of hot water. Stir in 1/4 cup vinegar. For more intense colors, use small amounts of professional-quality food coloring gels or pastes, available at craft, cake decorating and kitchen supply stores.
  • If you’re doing multi-colored eggs, let them dry thoroughly between coats of dye.
  • Store finished and dried eggs in empty egg cartons.

Easy Special Effects

  • Wrap eggs with twine or rubber bands before dyeing to create a striped effect. Remove after drying.
  • Create patterns with small bits of tape or stickers and remove after dyeing and drying.
  • Dab rubber cement on eggs and rub it off after dyeing and drying.
Easter Egg Ideas
  • For spattered eggs, dip egg in a base color and let dry. Dip a clean toothbrush in a contrasting liquid color and carefully flick bristles with your fingers to make paint splatter onto egg.
  • For marbleized eggs, coat eggs with a base color and let dry. Mix canola or other light cooking oil into another color of dye (1 teaspoon oil per cup of dye) and quickly dunk eggs. The oil will repel color in some places and the dye will adhere in others, creating a marbled effect.
Marble Patterned Easter Eggs

The Flowers of Easter – Part 4


Daisies – 6 Common Types

Types of Daisies

Daisies belong to one of the largest plant families in existence, making up 10 percent of the world’s flowering plants. Though we might traditionally only think of the Common Daisy or the Gerbera Daisy when we imagine this bright spring bloom, there happen to be more than 20,000 types of “daisies”. In fact, the daisy belongs to the Asteraceaefamily, along with sunflowers, chrysanthemums, and even lettuce!

Because this plant family is so large, daisies within it can vary wildly. The African Daisy, for instance, comes in many petal color combinations, with a bright blue center, while the English Daisy is a traditional white and yellow.

Gerbera Daisies

Gerbera Daisies are some of the most popular cut flowers sold by florists, only behind roses and carnations. These bright blooms are native to South Africa and bloom in a huge array of colors, such as white, pink, red, yellow, and orange. While they are a little tricky to grow – needing lots of direct sunlight but disliking hot temperatures – they are pretty durable during the winter months.

These babies are best grown in pots so that you can move them to an ideal location depending on the season. Shoot for full sunlight, with moist soil during the summer and dry soil in between waterings during the winter.

African Daisies

This bloom is, obviously, from Africa, and thus requires conditions similar to those found in Africa. It prefers heat and full sun, and needs well-drained soil, but will tolerate dry soil well. Though this plant seems finicky, its only real requirement is full sun; beyond that, it doesn’t ask for much.

Natively, the African Daisy blooms after spring rain and continues all summer. Though it’s tough enough to live in hot, dry conditions, a modicum of moisture will bring out bright and beautiful blooms. Even in the off-season, though, this plant offers wonderful foliage: the leaves are a breathtaking, supernatural greenish-grey. African Daisies are traditionally white with a steel blue center, but hybrids come in yellow, cream, purple, orange, red, and more!

Painted Daisy

The Painted Daisy is a perennial with petals in hues of red, yellow, white, violet, and pink. These bouquet favorites bloom from late spring to mid-summer in bushy clumps, growing one to three feet tall.

Painted Daisies are native to southwestern Asia, but have become popular in North American gardens for the protection they lend to other plants. These pretty blooms repel many bad bugs and browsing animals; in fact, their repellent properties are so beneficial that the petals are often dried and used in organic insecticides.

Plant in well-drained soil in full sun to shade, in an area that is neither too hot nor too humid.

Purple Cone Flower

This type of daisy can grow nearly four feet tall, with vibrant purple petals and a yellow-brown center. Purple Cone flowers are not only beautiful plants you come across in the countryside – they are also used for medicinal purposes, in cold remedies to stimulate the immune system.

This flower is found mostly on the eastern part of North America, like New England, but grows as far south as Texas.

Gloriosa Daisies

Otherwise known as the Black-Eyed Susan, this daisy is a hardy American wildflower, and can be recognized for its signature yellow or gold petals and dark centers.

Black-Eyed Susans typically grow between two and three feet tall. They like to be in the sunlight and can handle a forgetful owner, since they’re used to growing in droughts.

Tasso Pink Daisy

This pink bloom is more bulb-like than a traditional English Daisy, with a smaller center. These blooms are biennial, meaning they last through one season, but self-seed to provide future generations.

This strain features loads of little button-like flowers, coming in all shades of pink – even a “strawberries and cream” strain. Removing faded flowers regularly will keep this plant blooming well into the summer.

With so many different flowers that can be used at Easter, what is your favorite?

(Information from bouqs.com)

The Flowers of Easter – Part 3

Tulips

Tulips (Tulipa) form a genus of spring-blooming perennials  (having bulbs as storage organs). The flowers are usually large, showy and brightly colored, generally red, pink, yellow, or white (usually in warm colours). They often have a different coloured blotch at the base of the tepals (petals and sepals, collectively), internally. Because of a degree of variability within the populations, and a long history of cultivation, classification has been complex and controversial. The tulip is a member of the Liliaceae (lily) family, along with 14 other genera, where it is most closely related to AmanaErythronium and Gagea in the tribe Lilieae. There are about 75 species, and these are divided among four sub genera. The name “tulip” is thought to be derived from a Persian word for turban, which it may have been thought to resemble. Tulips originally were found in a band stretching from Southern Europe to Central Asia, but since the seventeenth century have become widely naturalized and cultivated. In their natural state they are adapted to steppes and mountainous areas with temperate climates. Flowering in the spring, they become dormant in the summer once the flowers and leaves die back, emerging above ground as a shoot from the underground bulb in early spring.

While tulips had probably been cultivated in Asia from the tenth century, they did not come to the attention of the West until the sixteenth century, when Western diplomats to the Ottoman court observed and reported on them. They were rapidly introduced into Europe and became a frenzied commodity during Tulip mania. Tulips were frequently depicted in Dutch Golden Age paintings, and have become associated with the Netherlands, the major producer for world markets, ever since. In the seventeenth century Netherlands, during the time of the Tulip mania, an infection of tulip bulbs by the tulip breaking virus created variegated patterns in the tulip flowers that were much admired and valued. This phenomenon was referred to as “broken”.

Breeding programs have produced thousands of hybrid and cultivars in addition to the original species (known in horticulture as botanical tulips). They are popular throughout the world, both as ornamental garden plants and as cut flowers.

Description

Tulips are a spring-blooming perennial, dying back after flowering to an underground storage bulb. Depending on the species, tulip plants can be between 4 inches (10 cm) and 28 inches (71 cm) high.

The tulip’s flowers are usually large.
In structure, the flower is generally cup or star shaped. Tulip stems have few leaves. Larger species tend to have multiple leaves. Plants typically have two to six leaves, some species up to 12. The tulip’s leaf is strap-shaped, with a waxy coating, and the leaves are alternate (alternately arranged on the stem), diminishing in size the further up the stem. These fleshy blades are often bluish-green in color.

Introduction to the United States

It is believed the first tulips in the United States were grown near Spring Pond at the Fay Estate in Lynn and Salem, Massachusetts. From 1847 to 1865, Richard Sullivan Fay, Esq., one of Lynn’s wealthiest men, settled on 500 acres located partly in present-day Lynn and partly in present-day Salem. Mr. Fay imported many different trees and plants from all parts of the world and planted them among the meadows of the Fay Estate.

More about Easter Flowers in Part 4 of this series.

(Information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The Flowers of Easter – Part 2

Daffodil (Narcissi)

The daffodil is a symbol of rebirth – a sign of the new beginnings that come with spring. Daffodils are often found connected with Easter and Easter religious services because of their new birth significance.

Daffodils are the birthday flower of March, the same month as the spring equinox that heralds the beginning of a new season.

Long celebrated in art and literature, narcissi (various common names include daffodil and jonquil) are associated with a number of themes in different cultures, ranging from death to good fortune, and as symbols of Spring. The daffodil is the national flower of Wales associated with St. David’s Day. In other cultures it many be associated with wealth, good fortune and beauty. Because of the time that it flowers it is also a symbol of Spring, and associated religious festivals such as Easter, hence the use of Lent lily or in German, Easter bells, among its common names. The appearance of the wild flowers in spring is also associated with festivals in many places. While prized for its ornamental value, there is also an ancient cultural association with death, at least for pure white forms.

Historically the narcissus has appeared in written and visual arts since antiquity, being found in graves from Ancient Egypt. In classical Graeco-Roman literature the narcissus is associated with both the myth of the youth who was turned into a flower of that time, and with the Goddess Persephone, snatched into the underworld as she gathered their blooms. Narcissi were said to grow in meadows in the underworld. In these contexts they frequently appear in the poetry of the period from Stasinos to Pliny.

In western European culture narcissi and daffodils are among the most celebrated flowers in English literature, from Gower to Day-Lewis, while the best known poem is probably that of Wordsworth. In the visual arts, narcissi are depicted in three different contexts, mythological, floral art, or landscapes, from mediaeval altar pieces to Salvador Dalí.

The narcissus also plays an important part in Eastern cultures from their association with the New year in Chinese culture to symbolizing eyes in Islamic art. The word ‘Daffodil’ has been used widely in popular culture from Dutch cars to Swedish rock bands, while many cancer charities have used it as a fundraising symbol.

Symbols

The daffodil is the national flower of Wales, where it is traditional to wear a daffodil or a leek on Saint David’s Day (March 1). In Welsh the daffodil is known as “Peter’s Leek”, (cenhinen Bedr or cenin Pedr), the leek (cenhinen) being the other national symbol. The narcissus is also a national flower symbolizing the new year or Newrozin the Kurdish culture.

The narcissus is perceived in the West as a symbol of vanity, in the East as a symbol of wealth and good fortune (see Eastern cultures). In classical Persian literature, the narcissus is a symbol of beautiful eyes, together with other flowers that equal a beautiful face with a spring garden, such as roses for cheeks and violets for shining dark hair.

In western countries the daffodil is associated with spring festivals such as Lent and its successor Easter. In Germany the wild narcissus, N. pseudonarcissus, is known as Osterglocke or “Easter bell.” In the United Kingdom, particularly in ecclesiastical circles, the daffodil is sometimes variously referred to as the Lenten or Lent lily.[ Tradition has it that the daffodil opens on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, and dies at Easter which marks the end of Lent.[

Although prized as an ornamental flower, some people consider narcissi unlucky, because they hang their heads implying misfortune, and hence refuse to have them in the house. White narcissi are especially associated with death, especially the pure white N triandrus ‘Thalia’, and hence are considered grave flowers.[ Indeed, in Ancient Greece narcissi were planted near tombs. Robert Herrick, describes them as portents of death, an association which also appears in the myth of Persephone and the underworld.

The daffodil is the American Cancer Society’s symbol of new life and hope that a cure for cancer will be found. “You see a daffodil and know there’s hope,” says Debbie Jaramillo, volunteer chair, California Division Daffodil Days. “And with hope, there’s a cure. They’re a burst of sunshine, a ray of hope. Even if it is still cold outside, you know there’s warmth and light ahead.”

More about flowers used at Easter in Part 3.

(Information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)