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Iris Day – May 8, 2023

Iris Day is observed annually on May 8 in Belgium. This holiday, which is unique to the region of Brussels, celebrates the flowering time of the iris flower. May 8 is a symbolic day in the region as it marks the feast day of the region’s patron saint, as well as the victory won by the Allied Powers during World War II. Also, a stylized iris is pictured on the flag of Brussels.

History of Iris Day

Also known as Iris Festival, Iris Day is celebrated in the region of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. Also called the flower of Lys, the iris is the region’s symbol and is pictured on its flag. Iris Day celebrates several important events unique to the region of Brussels: The month of May is the flowering period of the iris. May 8 is the day on which Nazi Germany surrendered in World War II, 1945, and is also the feast day of Saint Michael the Archangel, the patron saint of Brussels — making this day a triple celebration for the people of Brussels. During the Iris Day Festival, exciting activities are held over a few days, such as street festivities, free concerts, and even a food truck festival.

The iris flower is a genus of about 300 species of flowering plants in the Iridaceae family of plants. It has a wide variety of colors and is the birth flower for February. The iris also symbolizes nobility, chivalry, wisdom, faith, and purity. It is recognized in several cultures around the world.

According to Greek mythology, the flower is named after Iris, goddess of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. During the Middle Ages, the fleurs-de-lis, which is a depiction of the iris flower, became a recurring symbol among the nobility. To date, the symbol can still be found on the coat of arms of French cities and royal houses.

Iris Day timeline

16 B.C.
The Iris Takes a Journey

Irises are introduced to Egypt, from Syria.

500 A.D.
France Adopts the Fleurs-de-Lis

The fleurs-de-lis become a symbol of French nobility.

1921
Canada Adopts the Fleurs-de-Lis

The fleurs-de-lis become an emblem on the Royal Coat of Arms of Canada.

2008
Participants Flood the Iris Festival

The Iris Day Festival attracts a crowd of 100,000 participants.

Iris Day FAQs

Where do irises grow?

Irises can be found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere zones, Europe, Asia, and North America.

Do people speak English in Belgium?

Even though English isn’t one of the official languages in Belgium, it is spoken by over half of the population.

What is Brussels like?

According to a survey, Brussels is a quiet, sedate city.

Iris Day Activities

  1. Plant irises

    You can celebrate by planting an iris in your home garden or a flowerpot. This lovely flower is sure to brighten up your home.

  2. Send a bouquet

    You don’t need to wait for Valentine’s Day to shower your loved ones with gifts. Send a bouquet of irises to someone you love.

  3. Share this article

    Spread the word about Iris Day by sharing this article with your friends and family. You could also create a post on social media. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #irisday.

5 Colors Of Irises And Their Meanings

  1. White iris

    The white iris is a symbol of purity, innocence, and divinity.

  2. Purple iris

    The purple iris symbolizes royalty, respect, gratitude, and wisdom.

  3. Blue iris

    The blue iris symbolizes faith, hope, and devotion, most often used in religious contexts.

  4. Yellow iris

    The yellow iris is regarded as a symbol of passion, unlike other flowers of the same color, which often represent friendship.

  5. Blue Flag iris

    This iris color symbolizes faith, courage, and wisdom.

Why We Love Iris Day

  1. Flowers are beautiful

    Who doesn’t love flowers? They’re a symbol of love and affection, can deliver messages without spoken words, and bring beauty to our world. This is one of the many reasons we love and celebrate Iris Day.

  2. The iris is an important symbol

    In Brussels, the iris is an important symbol. And in addition to the iris being an emblem on the region’s flag, Iris Day falls on the feast day of Brussels’ patron saint and the anniversary of the Allied Powers’ World War II victory, making it a threefold celebration.

  3. Iris Day is a day to spread love

    Iris Day is a reminder to give our loved ones their flowers while they’re still here. It’s a day to send flowers and other tokens of affection to our friends, family, and lovers.

Iris Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 8Monday
2024May 8Wednesday
2025May 8Thursday
2026May 8Friday
2027May 8Saturday

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