Has anyone ever asked you to blow on a dandelion and make a wish? If you live in an area where dandelions grow, the chances are you have made a wish on them at some point, but did you ever wonder where that tradition originated and what the meaning behind it was?
Although the exact origin of the dandelion mythology isn’t known, we do know that these myths go back centuries and can be traced to the ancient Celts and the French. In fact, the name “dandelion” is an interpretation of the original French word for the flower dent de lion meaning “lion’s tooth”. For ages people have made wishes on dandelion seeds in the hopes of them coming true. Much of this may be attributed to the medicinal properties of dandelions. Before modern medicine, dandelions were used to treat infections, liver disease, cancer, and was used as a diuretic. Because the dandelion seemed like such a magical herb, folklore began to develop around the bright flower developing into the dandelions myths of today.
Dandelions bloom a bright yellow/orange color but change into gray/white seeds when they are ready to disperse. The gray/white seeds are what you blow on to make a wish. You are supposed to think really hard on your wish and then blow off all of the white seeds, sending your wish flying into the air in a beautiful display. If there are no seeds left on your stem then your wish will come true.
It is widely believed that if a bride used dandelions in her bridal bouquet then her marriage will have good luck. Or if you dream about dandelions that your will be blessed with good luck.
Children often make a game out of trying to find the tallest dandelion in the field because traditional mythology holds that the length of the dandelion a child picked was equal to the number of inches they would grow in the next year.
Many people believe that if you blow every seed of the dandelion off while thinking of a loved one it means that they love you back. Another legend is that if you pick one seed off the bloom and concentrate every ounce of love you feel for someone and them blow it in the direction of where you loved one is, they will feel your love. Conversely, if you then blow on the bloom and there is at least one remaining seed on it, it means your loved one is thinking of you too.
Dandelions are cheerful, bright, and magical flowers, but most people look at them and see nothing but weeds. Next time you look at a dandelion and see nothing but a weed, think about how magical they can be. And if you don’t believe in magic, then think about all the medicinal properties of dandelions, many of which, are still used today. And, if you still look at them as weeds, pick one up, blow, and make a wish that your yard will be free of weeds!