Passover is a herald to spring with much of the holiday’s symbolism representing the season’s renewal of life. Jews celebrate Passover, also named the Festival of Freedom, in late March or early April dependent on how the Jewish lunar calendar aligns with the standard solar calendar. The festival is eight days long, and the first two nights are large family gatherings. These nights, celebrants hold Seders, or festive ritual meals. The word Seder means order, due to the order of the rituals that surround the meal. Special foods are eaten, songs are sung and the story of the Exodus from Egypt is told to pass traditions from generation to generation.
Flowers are not part of the religious ceremonies that surround Passover, but they remind us of spring, and bring joy to participants. Therefore, they are appropriate hostess gifts to grace the Passover Seder Table. When choosing a bouquet to bring as a gift, use flowers that extend the themes of the holiday.
To celebrate the season of spring, choose seasonal flowers such as cherry blossoms, hyacinths, forsythia, irises, daisies, violets, daffodils and tulips. If the holiday falls later in the spring, you may be able to pull these flowers from your own garden to create the perfect gift. If you are well acquainted with the hostess, you can call ahead to ask if she is decorating for the holiday in specific colors. If so, you can bring a floral arrangement that matches her decor.
To create a bouquet or basket of flowers that represents freedom from slavery, the main theme of Passover, mix yellow roses with yellow tulips. A third flower that represents freedom is the bird of paradise, however this is more difficult to get during the holiday.
Other uses for flowers during Passover include:
- Corsages for guests
- At each place setting
- On a buffet table
- Lining the dessert such as around a cake plate
- Mini-centerpieces for longer tables
One thing to keep in mind when ordering flowers for a Seder Table is that the Passover meal is a feast for the senses due to the combination of tasting the food, hearing the songs, seeing the special foods and symbols, touching the Seder Plate and smelling the numerous related scents. Therefore, it is best to choose flowers that have light fragrances that will complement the rest of the scents from the holiday.