For millennia, the gorgeous peony flower has been admired as a symbol of great beauty, good luck, and prosperity. Peonies can be found in almost every color, although their pink and white blooms are perhaps most recognizable. When they’re given as gifts on special occasions, peonies convey well wishes and kind thoughts towards the recipient. They’re the perfect gift for someone who could use some good luck in their life! Not only do peonies symbolize prosperity, but they also symbolize an abundance of joy, love, and compassion. Peony size can range from two to ten inches across, which makes for an impressive bloom! This week in the journal, we’re exploring the meaning of the peony and how you can bring the essence of the peony to your life.
Here at KIM+ONO, peonies adorn several of our original hand-crafted kimono robe designs. What we hope is that when you wear a peony kimono robe, you feel like the most confident and beautiful version of yourself. Our kimonos draw inspiration from the various styles of traditional Chinese brushwork while being infused with a modern aesthetic as well. Designed in San Francisco and inspired by vintage Asian art, our collections feature the timeless beauty of many botanical symbols, with the peony being a fan-favorite! Keep reading to dive into the meaning of peonies and learn how you can create at-home rituals that evoke their powerful meaning.
What Peonies Represent In China
The tradition of observing and appreciating peonies has been practiced in China for a long time. Festivals and ceremonies take place all over the country for people to celebrate the peony’s peak bloom and enjoy their rich fragrance. And it’s not only a cultural tradition: according to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, peonies can actually have measurable positive effects on health and wellbeing! In this light, it comes as no surprise that countless works of art and poetry have been inspired by this glorious flower.
Peonies are highly regarded in China and have been cultivated there for more than 1400 years. According to a study in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, “because of their beauty and fragrance, cultivated tree peonies were crowned the ‘king of flowers' in the Chinese Tang Dynasty, symbolizing happiness, richness and prosperity.” The number of peony varieties in China has grown from around two hundred during the Song Dynasty to more than one thousand today! We’re not surprised that a flower as lovely as the peony is embraced by so many people, and not just in China. Although Japan may be more well known for its reverence of cherry blossoms, the peony is also celebrated there and is well established in its artistic history as a major cultural symbol.
What Peonies Represent in Japan
One of Japan’s most famous works of art, Colorful Realm of Living Beings, is a set of 30 scrolls featuring paintings of birds and flowers by the artist Itō Jakuchū. The National Gallery of Art celebrated this renowned piece and noted that the earliest scroll in the collection, titled Peonies and Butterflies, depicts the peony as a symbol of “both feminine beauty and prosperity.” We can easily see why the numerous petals and lush appearance of the peony are associated with abundance and good fortune.
In Japan, like in China, the peony stands for the elegance and beauty of nature. And, according to a study in Horticulture Research, “in the 8th century, peonies arrived in Japan [from China] where they became a symbol of good fortune, bravery, and honor.” We love that bravery and honor are entrenched alongside femininity in the meaning of this flower! Here’s why: at first glance, we are a hand-crafted kimono robe company, but our intention goes even deeper. When you slip into one of our kimono robes, we hope to inspire you to feel empowered and confident in your own skin.
Draping yourself in a fan-favorite Peony and Butterfly Kimono Robe to slow down the moment is just one of the ways that you can bring the essence of the peony to your life. We love seeing how our fans incorporate kimono style into their self-care routine. Whether it’s in the morning, afternoon, or evening, the time you set aside for self-care is all about giving yourself the full attention you deserve. You can elevate the little moments in your day by establishing rituals that feel purposeful to you, such as slipping into your kimono robe, reading your favorite poetry, brewing a cup of coffee or tea, or lighting a candle and meditating. Many folks find comfort at the end of a long day by slipping into a silky floral robe and spending a few minutes journaling before going to bed. Another idea for incorporating the essence of the peony into your home rituals is to change into your Washable Silk Peony & Butterfly Kimono Robe and create an at-home spa routine of your favorite skincare and gua sha tools.
Remember that your kimono style can go with you out into the world too. As a lightweight layer, your kimono robe can become part of any outfit. Some folks style it with a sleeveless top and jeans for a casual but elevated everyday look. Others layer it on top of formalwear—like a little black dress—so that it’s an elegant, silky cover up. For a touch of luxury without the length, our Peony and Butterfly Kimono Jacket is a unique shorter piece that’s easy to wear on the go. As you go about your routine of dressing and getting ready for the day, keep in mind that our kimono robes are designed to be sophisticated and versatile staples in your wardrobe.
Wearing Your Peony Kimono Robe and Setting Intentions
We’ve mentioned that the peony symbolizes beauty, good luck, and prosperity. As you wear your peony kimono robe, what intentions can you set to evoke peony symbolism in today’s modern world? Beauty can mean acknowledging the queen that you are. It can also mean confidence, empowerment, and self-love. What aspects of your inner beauty are yet to be celebrated?
The peony also represents good luck, which can of course mean positive outcomes, but it can also mean calling all good things to the surface—strength in relationships, depth of friendship, health in ourselves and our loved ones, or satisfaction in our professional or creative lives.
And finally, as a symbol of prosperity and abundance, the peony reflects the comfort and security of good fortune. However, it can also represent the prosperity that comes from higher alignment. For example, when your personal intentions are aligned with your actions, you can be rewarded by feeling more in tune with your purpose. You can foster this feeling of abundance in your life by getting in touch with yourself and centering your true desires.
We hope that we’ve inspired you to fall in love with the essence of the peony and weave the rich meaning of this flower into your life!