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Pacing Through Mythology: Symbolic Meaning of Narcissus Flowers

Symbolic Meaning of Narcissus Flowers
Narcissus flowers have derived their name from a character in Greek mythology of a similar name. Here's more about the mythological story and other symbolic meanings associated with narcissus flowers.
Neha B Deshpande
Last Updated: Mar 4, 2018
Did You Know?
Flowers falling into the genus 'Narcissus' are commonly referred to as daffodils. They are bulbous flowers that are native to the Mediterranean area, some parts of Asia and China, though today, they are grown extensively in the U.S.
Imagine your ecstasy when you see a young bud blooming. Small things bring the greatest joy in our lives, and who better than nature can tell us that? Nature has so much to teach us. Among all, flowers are the most beautiful creations of nature. Blessed with different hues, these blossoms can teach us the secrets of life. Flowers remind us of the power of tenderness and beauty.

There are myriad of flowers, all bestowed with different qualities by nature - some with vibrant colors, fragrance, hues, petal styles, etc. A photographer wants to capture its beauty in his camera, a painter on his canvas, and a poet in his words. Every flower is unique and special in its own way. One of the much-loved flowers is the narcissus flower. Though this name is unusual, it is more commonly referred to as 'daffodils'. However, every name has a story, and here is the story of narcissus flowers.
Mythical character: Narcissus
The narcissus flower has its name credited to a character in Greek mythology. According to folklore, Narcissus, a young man, was ravishingly handsome, and was bestowed with beauty by the Gods. Echo, a beautiful nymph, who was deeply in love with him, was spurned down by him, much to her embarrassment. She died in grief, and all that was left of her was her voice. Once when he saw his reflection in a pool, he got so engrossed and enchanted with his own beauty that he ended up looking constantly at his reflection and admiring it. So much was he engrossed that he forgot his thirst and hunger. His love for his own self was so much that he turned pale and died. After his death, his body was replaced by a flower that grows on the banks of the river.
This flower is a gentle reminder that one should not be too engrossed with oneself and forget others. We should be modest, and should not sit drooling over our own achievements. Along with the flower, the word 'narcissism' has been coined from the same character - a personality disorder that means self-obsession.
Narcissus/Daffodil Flower Meaning
Narcissus flowers
Unrequited Love, Hope, Humility, Life, Luck, Rebirth
Folklore and Other Meanings
Narcissus flowers have both, negative and positive meanings annexed to it. Following are some of them.

►The word 'narcissus' is derived from 'narke', which is a Greek work, and means 'numbness' or 'stupor'.

► Poultry farmers think it brings bad lack and forbids their poultry from laying eggs.

► A single narcissus represents misfortune, whereas, if you want to wish good luck to someone, gift them a bunch of daffodils.
► Pointing your index finger might stop the blooming of the narcissus flower.

► Daffodils are known as the birthday flower of March, whereas, narcissus are said to be December birth flowers.

► It represents the unrequited love of Echo and Narcissus.

►Chinese mythology: If a daffodil is forced to bloom on the eve of New Year, it will bring good luck to you.

► It is the National flower of Wales, and it is customary to wear a daffodil on Saint David's Day.
► American Cancer Society: 'Daffodil Days' is a campaign set up by this organization to gather funds for the awareness of cancer, with the help of yellow daffodils. Daffodils represent cheer, hope, and passion for a new life.
'Daffodils' by William Wordsworth
The narcissus flower, aka daffodils, reminds me of a few verses from William Wordsworth's poetry. In his poetry, daffodils are personified to be dancing with the wind. Every time he is reminded of daffodils, his pensive mood brightens up. Personally, I adore the yellow daffodils. They are bright, cheery, happy, and an epitome of beauty.
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
If you're feeling sulky today, brighten yourself with up with a bunch of narcissus flowers. And remember, modesty is beauty.
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