31 Days. 31 Flowers. Teaching kids about the Marigold…
Literature, legends and art bloom with FLOWERS, from lovely little nursery rhymes to sophisticated epic poetry and great myths and masterpieces. Knowing the names of flowers, the references to flowers, the symbols of flowers, the language of flowers gives kids a blooming head start in understanding literature and enhancing literacy.
Each day in May, a FLOWER will be presented here at 31 Days. 31 Flowers – 31 Ways to engage your kids in literature, literacy and life in just a few moments a day. Enjoy!
The MARIGOLD – With reference to Mary, the Virgin Mother, the English derivative of Marigold is a combination of Mary + Gold (for the Marigold’s golden/yellow color) and is known as Mary’s Flower. Its association with the Virgin Mary has made the Marigold a flower of good blessings, often used in weddings, festivals and religious celebrations.
The Marigold has world wide respect and appeal, giving Marigold species names such as the French Marigold and the African Marigold, also known as the Aztec Marigold. The Aztecs used the golden/red Marigold flowers to decorate their shrines and temples, and ultimately as a symbol of the Aztec Massacre by the Spanish. This is how the Marigold got its sad but revered symbol as the flower of grief, the flor de muerto…
The Hindus also regarded the Marigold as both a sacred flower and one that soothed grief.
A very interesting tidbit about the Marigold is its clock-like behavior of following the sun… opening its bloom in the morning and closing each evening. Weather lore tells us that if a Marigold has not opened by 7:00 am, there will be rain before sunset.
Let your kids in on the symbols and secrets of the lovely Marigold. Why not photograph it early in the morning and again at sunset to check out the lore. Tell of its meanings of both blessings and grief… sharing customs of different countries, continents, cultures. Remember that kids LOVE to learn new things, interesting things, things that keep their minds and hearts open to learning…
How about sharing this lovely little poem by Eliza Lee Follen, 19th century American author and abolitionist, while sitting near your Marigolds…
In little Annie’s garden
Grew all sorts of posies;
There were pinks, and mignonette,
And tulips, and roses.
Sweet peas, and morning glories,
A bed of violets blue,
And marigolds, and asters,
In Annie’s garden grew.
There the bees went for honey,
And the humming-birds too;
And there the pretty butterflies
And the lady-birds flew.
And there among her flowers,
Every bright and pleasant day,
In her own pretty garden
Little Annie went to play.