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Historic Cemetery Symbols: What do Daffodils Represent?

Historic Cemetery Symbol of the Week

Last week’s post was about the symbolic meaning of lambs, which are quite a common sight in historic cemeteries. This week, however, I wanted to talk about the symbolism of something less commonly seen on cemetery headstones: Daffodils.

Daffodil engraved on a historic cemetery headstone (photo by Tui Snider)
Daffodil engraved on a historic cemetery headstone (photo by Tui Snider)

What do Daffodils symbolize?

Just because it’s a bit rare on headstones, doesn’t mean this gorgeous blossom lacks symbolic meaning. Since they are some of the first flowers to bloom each spring, daffodils are the birth flower for those, like me, who were born in March. In fact, spring has many symbolic associations, such as new life, innocence, and young love.
The botanical name for daffodils is Narcissus, which may bring to mind the ancient Greek myth of Narcissus, the young man who became so in love with his own reflection that he starved to death.
Roll all those ideas up into one big burrito and here’s what you get for the daffodil’s symbolic meanings: new life, youth (so possibly connected to someone who died young), innocence, beauty. Also, in the Victorian Language of Flowers, daffodils are associated with “unrequited love,” and “deep regard.”
So, as you can see, the Daffodil is one of those cemetery symbols that raises as many questions as it answers!

Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism:

I am currently writing a field guide to historic cemetery symbolism. Each week, I share a small snippet from my upcoming book. It’s my goal to create a handy-dandy pocket guide for taphophiles, genealogists, ghost hunters, and anyone else interested in the historic graveyard symbols that have become forgotten over the years.

Which symbols are you curious about?

Let me know in the comments if there is a certain symbol that you are curious about. Also, if you would like to know when the cemetery symbolism guide is available for purchase, scroll down and sign up for my newsletter! I look forward to hearing from you!

Want to read more like this?

To read about more weird, offbeat, and overlooked places, check out my best-selling travel guide:
UNEXPECTED TEXAS: Your Guide to Offbeat & Overlooked History, Day Trips & Fun Things to do near Dallas & Fort Worth

For ghost hunting hot spots, check out my best-selling travel guide to haunted places:
PARANORMAL TEXAS: Your Travel Guide to Haunted Places near Dallas & Fort Worth

For a strange-but-true tale of Texas history, check out this bizarre piece of West Texas history:
The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber



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Published inCemeteries & SymbolismHistoric CemeteriesTravel Photo Essays

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