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More than just a festive season accessory! Decoding the marigold!

The genus name for marigold (Tagetes) gets its name from the Etruscan God "Tages"- The God of Wisdom. It's common name "Marigold" comes from "Mary's gold" after Mother Mary. The flower symbolises auspiciousness. The saffron/orange colour signifies renunciation and hence is offered to God as a symbol of surrender. Hindu ceremonies also make extensive use of marigold in garlands to honour God & Goddesses. The scented oils that the flower exudes repel harmful insects. Marigold is offered along with other pleasant smelling flowers, as it performs the function of keeping insects from coming near the image/idol that is being worshipped. When family gravestones are strewn with marigold it offers them protection from negative influences. Marigold species "Calendula" has an antimicrobial effect. Native medicine systems use it for healing lives, stomach and intestinal problems. They are also used for curing skin irritations. Traditional Chinese Medicine use marigold to dissipate heat, expel cold and break up phlegm. Marigold is seen as a "love charm" and is widely used in weddings. In other cultures, marigold represents passion & creativity. They are considered to be pure. Marigold flowers can be eaten and are often used in salads as a substitute for saffron spice. The yellow and orange marigolds symbolise the sun and light. It is vibrant, brilliant and bold in colour, thus radiates a positive energy. These garland necklaces are offered in welcome as a mark of respect and honour. Garlands of marigold are hung around the main door of a house or "torana" which means gateway in Sanskrit. Octobers birthday flower, the vibrant marigold has been prized for both its beauty and versatility