The Red Balloon: An Ode to Difference

Should you Buy Flowers for Graduation?

The Red Balloon: An Ode to Difference

Is a loved one graduating from high school, college, technical school, or a graduate program? They worked hard for their degree, and their graduation day will be one of the most memorable days of their lives.

As a family member, significant other, or friend, you ly want to show them how proud you are with a meaningful graduation gift.

The gift of flowers is a thoughtful way to show you care and congratulate your loved one for their life-changing accomplishment.

Flowers have long held symbolic importance to humans. For example, the ancient Romans connected myrtle to Venus, the goddess of love, and flowers appear in coats of arms as family symbols. In the early 19th century, many writers translated the “language of flowers” to give meaning to the different types and colors of flowers.

If you’re wondering if you should surprise your loved one with fresh, colorful flowers on graduation day, we say yes. Flowers add joy and life to any celebration, and are the perfect companion for a blossoming grad. In this post, we’ll explore different types of graduation flowers to help you choose blooms that say it all.

Best Flowers for Graduation

You can feel free to get creative when it comes to choosing graduation flowers. You might select flowers in your loved one’s favorite color or flowers to convey a special message. Consider pairing a bright bouquet with balloons, chocolates, and a piece of jewelry to make your graduate feel deeply appreciated. Here are flower ideas to help you get started.

1. Roses

Roses have been potent symbols for thousands of years. In ancient Rome, people used roses as confetti during celebrations and as a source of perfume. During the 17th century, roses were so valuable that royalty used them as legal tender.

Roses are an iconic flower and a symbol of love, beauty, and romance. Although people often give red roses to significant others, friends and family members can also give roses to a graduate to show their affection and admiration. If you’re not sure what type of flower to get a graduate, you can’t go wrong with roses.

Various colors of roses carry unique meanings. Consider what you want to say to a graduate and how a rose can deliver the message with love. Here are different rose colors and their corresponding meanings.

  • White: White roses symbolize a new beginning, purity, and genuine respect. Surprise a graduate with stunning white roses to express your admiration.
  • Pink: Pink roses symbolize happiness. Friends or family members might choose delicate pink flowers to celebrate the joy of graduation day.
  • Yellow: Friends of a graduate should consider yellow roses, which symbolize friendship, new beginnings, and joy.
  • Orange: Orange roses represent enthusiasm and desire, and fill a room with energy and cheer. Anyone who desires a bright future for their grad should consider gorgeous orange roses.

Some schools have made roses part of their graduation ceremony. For example, at the College of Charleston, male graduates traditionally wear a red rose boutonnière, and women carry six red roses. To add elegance to your graduate’s attire, consider supplying them with red roses before the ceremony.

2. Peonies

Peonies are popular springtime flowers, often found in joyous occasions from weddings to baby showers. Peonies play a significant symbolic role in China, where a peony is known as the “king of flowers.” In Chinese culture, the peony symbolizes wealth and honor. According to the Victorian language of flowers, peonies symbolize a bashful, happy life.

These full, luscious flowers are available in a range of colors to complement a graduate’s attire or complexion. Wish a shy graduate luck by presenting them a lush bouquet of peonies.

3. Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are soft, ball- blooms often available in soothing shades of purple, pink, blue, or white. According to the language of flowers, hydrangeas symbolize gratitude for being understood. If your best friend or significant other is graduating soon, show them you appreciate the relationship with sweet hydrangeas.

4. Carnations

Carnations are a favorite and highly versatile flower with a ruffled shape and spicy floral scent. The carnation means “flower of gods,” and Greeks and Romans used them in garlands. You might give a graduate a carnation to wear as a boutonnière or corsage or incorporate carnations in a colorful bouquet. Consider the following carnation colors and meanings.

  • Red: Give a graduate red carnations to show your admiration.
  • Pink: A bouquet of pink carnations is perfect for anyone who wants to tell a graduate they will never forget them.
  • White: Give a graduate white carnations if your love for them is pure.

Carnations offer you a ton of flexibility when it comes to finding a flower to match your graduate’s school color or favorite hue. Although carnations are available in a range of colors, you can easily dye carnations to get the exact color you want. To dye a carnation, all you to do is add a few drops of food coloring to a glass of water and add the blooms so they can absorb the color.

5. Chrysanthemums

Bursting with bold color, chrysanthemums are attention-grabbing flowers perfect for a free-spirited grad. The Victorians believed white chrysanthemums meant truth and red chrysanthemums symbolized love.

In Chinese culture, chrysanthemums are a symbol of longevity and taken as tea for good health.

If your boyfriend or girlfriend is graduating soon, consider a bouquet of red and white chrysanthemums to represent true love.

6. Tulips

Most people associate tulips with the Netherlands. Even though the Netherlands is a top tulip-producing country, tulips are not native to the land, and believed to be from central Asia.

Tulips were once the most expensive flower in the world, and during the 17th century, cost more than 10 times the average worker’s salary. These unique, brightly colored flowers are synonymous with spring and rebirth. To the Victorians, a tulip symbolizes fame.

Red tulips are a declaration of love, and multicolored tulips symbolize beautiful eyes.

7. Orchids

Orchids are one of the oldest flowering plants in the world. The ancient Greeks sought certain types of orchids for aphrodisiac qualities, and the Aztecs used orchids for flavorings.

Orchids rose in popularity as Victorian orchid hunters sought these gorgeous exotic plants.

Orchids are fragrant, enchanting, and available in stunning shapes and sizes — perfect for any graduate’s bedside table.

Orchids symbolize love and beauty and are a way to tell a graduate they’re one of a kind. Give a graduate orchids, and you’ll make them feel adored on their special day.

8. Ranunculuses

Ranunculuses feature tight bowl-shaped blooms that open into beautiful layers. The name comes from the Latin word rana, meaning frog, because of the plant’s tendency to grow in damp places. According to the language of flowers, a ranunculus symbolizes charm, so you should consider giving them to a graduate who stole your heart.

9. Leis

A lei is a garland of flowers commonly associated with Hawaiian culture. You’ll often see leis worn as part of a celebration. They may be given as a symbol of affection, to show one’s support, or to wish a loved one luck as they enter a new stage in life.

Popular lei flowers include colorful carnations and orchids. Leis have become part of the graduation tradition in some regions, particularly in California, where they adorn graduates across the state.

10. Corsages or Boutonnières

A corsage is a small bundle of flowers a woman might pin to her gown or wear around her wrist. A boutonnière is a single flower or a small group of flowers a man may attach to the left lapel of a formal jacket or graduation gown.

If you’re considering getting a graduate a corsage or boutonnière to wear for the ceremony, you might try to match the flower to the school colors or the graduate’s attire. Roses, orchids, and carnations are popular choices and available in an array of colors.

If you can’t find the color you need, consider a white bloom or classy red rose.

When to Give Graduation Flowers

Your graduate will ly be in a whirl on graduation day and experiencing all kinds of emotions. It can be hard to choose a time to give them flowers because you know they’ll be busy saying goodbye to friends, receiving many congratulations from others, and preparing for the stage.

Nevertheless, a gift of flowers adds to the excitement and makes a graduate feel loved and special as they cross the threshold into adulthood. Consider your loved one’s personality, and how they will handle the joy of a bouquet. Here are a few ideas about when to give graduation flowers.

  • Before graduation day: Consider sending a vibrant bouquet for graduation before the big day. Fresh, beautiful flowers will help energize them and build their confidence before the event. Make sure to include a heartfelt note with the flowers to express your love and congratulations.
  • Before the graduation ceremony: If you choose to give flowers a graduate can wear, such as a lei or corsage, give the gift before the ceremony. They will sparkle with their floral adornment on the stage and spread the joy to others around them.
  • After they receive their degree: Surprise your loved one with a single rose after they obtain their degree, or place a colorful lei around their neck to punctuate the moment. If your boyfriend or girlfriend is graduating, hand them a romantic bouquet of roses to melt their heart. Family members or parents might give a graduate a bouquet of fresh spring flowers in the graduate’s favorite color.
  • After the ceremony: If you’re throwing a graduation party, you can use flowers as an attractive centerpiece. Consider a bouquet of sunny yellow flowers to symbolize a new stage in your loved one’s life, or orchids to fill a room with beauty. Tulips and roses make elegant choices and are available in gorgeous colors. Regardless of the type of graduation flowers you choose, aim to match the overall color scheme. Your loved one will never forget your thoughtfulness when they enter a party filled with flowers.

Do Guys Get Flowers for Graduation?

If your graduate is a man, you can certainly surprise him with a cheerful bouquet. Men love thoughtful gifts, and flowers abound with meaning and affection. Consider white roses to represent your admiration and respect for your graduate. You might also opt for bold, bright flowers carnations or colorful orchids to brighten his mood.

What If You Can’t Make It to the Ceremony?

If you’re unable to make it to the ceremony, you can arrange to send flowers to your loved one to show them they’re in your thoughts and congratulate them for their accomplishments.

Flowers tend to evoke emotion in the receiver because they represent life, love, and joy. Send your flowers with a special note to make the gift more personal.

Your loved one will know you care when flowers arrive at their door, and they’ll never forget your gesture.

Order Graduation Flowers From Ode à la Rose

If you’re looking for exquisite graduation flowers to make your loved one feel adored, reach out to us as Ode à la Rose. We design our chic bouquets to impress the receiver and add an elegant touch to any room.

Our artisans use carefully selected flowers to design unique, French-style bouquets, and we strive to make every experience personal and meaningful. We offer showstopping budget-friendly options as well as exceptional bouquets to celebrate life’s big moments.

We never skimp on quality or passion, regardless of the bouquet style.

We also care that your loved one receives their flowers on time. For this reason, we offer same-day delivery in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and next-day delivery in over 1,500 cities throughout the Northeast and part of the Midwest.

We deliver our flowers in water to ensure they arrive bright and beautiful, and we secure each arrangement in our signature pink gift box to make an unforgettable statement. To enhance the joy of graduation day and express your love, order fresh flowers from Ode à la Rose.


The Red Balloon, directed by Albert Lamorisse, is a masterpiece exploring how people around an individual causes him or her untold suffering by making sure they deprive him or her of all happiness.

As the movie opens up, Pascal, a six or seven years old boy, retrieves a red balloon from a pole and carries this balloon wherever he goes.

Unfortunately, after Pascal takes his balloon home, his grandmother throws the balloon out through the window.

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However, the balloon does not leave Pascal even after letting go its string and it hovers over his head even in town. In school, the balloon gets Pascal into a problem with the schoolmaster who seeks to punish Pascal.

Pascal’s age mates are envious of his red balloon and they try their best to destroy it. Nevertheless, even though these bullies manage to destroy Pascal’s balloon, all balloons in Paris come to rescue him and take him on a ride.

Nevertheless, what is the reasoning behind the children’s desire to destroy the boy’s balloon?

The reasoning behind the Balloon’s Destruction

Lamorisse uses the red balloon as a symbol of happiness. When everyone is born, he or she has happiness assigned to him or her (Murray Para. 2). Unfortunately, people who are around taking that happiness away and put suffering in the place of happiness.

Pascal’s age mates are envious because their balloons (happiness) have been taken away and they do not understand why Pascal still possesses his. The environment that surrounds Pascal echoes how society is gloom. Whatever is happening to Pascal has happened to his age mates and this explains why they want to destroy his balloon.

It is unfortunate that in some cases, loved ones take away the happiness assigned to every person.

After Pascal finds his balloon and takes it home, his grandmother does not want to see it and she throws it through the window.

As aforementioned, all Pascal’s age mates have gone through the same deprivation thus they want Pascal to be them. Parents, grandparents, friends, and even teachers take away this happiness.

The parents to these children have already taken away their children’s happiness through demands that are too lofty for them to achieve. Pascal’s grandmother follows suit and tries to take away his happiness. Children are expected to do many things that are either unachievable or hard for them to achieve leaving little or no space for hem to be happy and enjoy life.

Running from schoolwork to helping back at home, children have little happiness. Moreover, when they discover their ‘red balloons’ their guardians ‘throw them away through the window’ hence they end up living as zombies.

The expectations that parents have on children is sometimes unrealistic.

It is true that the world has become competitive, and each parent would want his or child to perform well; however, at times, the pressure is too much to bear at a tender age.

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Everyone in society is in the business of taking away children’s happiness. After the red balloon follows Pascal to school, the schoolmaster becomes angry and locks Pascal up until evening.

Schools are supposed to be institutions where children learn, enjoy, and discover themselves.

Unfortunately, schools have become training grounds where children have to play by the rules and perform excellently.

Consequently, children end up taking subjects that they do not , but they have to take them anyway because that is what curriculum requires of them. Those who try to go against the set rules, they face the authorities and end up in punishment cells just Pascal.

As a result, schools rob children of their happiness through punishments and the unending call to abide by rules and regulations with high performance. Formal education has dictated people’s way of thinking for long. It not only dictates to children how to think but also what to think. In the process, their ‘red balloons’ (happiness) become deflated and lost.

On the other side, age mates take away one’s happiness because they have already lost theirs. This becomes evident by the way Pascal’s age mates react. First, they want to steal the red balloon and after failing, they destroy it. They want to steal Pascal’s happiness to keep it for them for they lack it.

However, after realizing that they cannot keep one’s happiness and even if they keep, they would not be happy, they decide to destroy it making him desperate and unhappy as they are. One of Pascal’s friends uses a slingshot to shoot and deflate the balloon. As it comes down, another friend stumps over the balloon and destroys it.

This is what one’s peers would do to a happy friend. They just want to restore parity and ensure that everyone lives by the standards set by society defined by desperation, sadness, and gloom.

The way Pascal’s friends behave is a clear indication that they are not happy. If they were happy or rather had their ‘red balloons’, they would enjoy a mutual relationship sharing their happiness.

They would even exchange their balloons as they thrive under happiness.

Unfortunately, parents, friends, teachers or society, has taken away their ‘balloons’, hence, they have nothing to share. One cannot give what he or she does not have; however, he or she can take what he or she does not have. This explains precisely why these youngsters are so determined to destroy Pascal’s balloon.

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Finally, society robs children of their happiness. As Pascal is about to get into a bus on his way home, the bus conductor tells him that he cannot get into the bus with the balloon. The bus conductor here represents the society; people that are not related in any way to someone; yet, they influence one’s life greatly.

Adults around Pascal are also unhappy with the balloon and this is evidenced by the way they look at it.

Probably, these adults had their balloons taken away in their childhood and they do not understand why Pascal would cling to his happiness while they lost theirs.

As previously, mentioned, the children in this film have encountered the misfortunes that Pascal is encountering and this explains why they want to destroy his balloon.


Albert Lamorisse, in his masterpiece, The Red Balloon, expounds how people around someone deprive him or her of happiness.

Everyone is born with some happiness assigned to him or her; however, as one grows, society takes away this felicity. Un his age mates, Pascal has not lost his happiness, which hovers over his head in the form of a red balloon.

Unfortunately, the people around Pascal are working tirelessly to ensure that the losses this happiness and become them.

His grandmother cannot tolerate the red balloon; consequently, she throws it out via the window; Pascal’s schoolmaster punishes him for having the red balloon while the bus conductor cannot allow Pascal to enter the bus as long the red balloon follows him.

Finally, Pascal’s age mates try all they can to rob Pascal of his happiness. First, they attempt to steal the red balloon only to realize that they cannot enjoy someone else’s happiness. Eventually, they manage to destroy this balloon to ensure that Pascal is them; sad and gloom with no future.

Works Cited

Lamorisse, Albert. “The Red Balloon.” Films Montsouris, 1956.

Murray, Steven. “The Red Balloon…A Significant French Movie.” 2009. Web.


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