The Real Meaning Of A Marigold Tattoo

The deep colors of marigolds are a sight to behold as they bloom throughout the summer and autumn. And, like many flowers, they carry substantial meaning to different cultures across the globe and are often used in tattoo designs. Indigenous to Mexico and Guatemala (via Harvesting History), marigolds were considered sacred to the Aztecs (via La Jolla Mom) and became the flower of choice when celebrating Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). According to Smithsonian Magazine, it's believed that the scent of this flower help guides souls to a family's memorial altar when combined with incense made from copal tree resin (via The Death Scent Project).

Dia de Los Muertos is a celebration of life rather than a period of mourning (via National Geographic). The bright oranges, reds, and yellows of marigolds can help signify feelings of positivity and happiness during the festivities. The species of flower used during these celebrations is obviously the Mexican marigold. Still, as theĀ Petal Republic notes, there are more than 50 species of marigold across the world.

Marigolds hold significant meaning in a variety of different cultures

African and French marigolds can be found in India (via Kerala Travel Tours), the blooms of which are often used in weddings as a "love charm" and in offerings to Hindu gods and goddesses. Being associated with gods can give the flower a new meaning, with Petal Republic suggesting that a marigold tattoo symbolizes "warmth, happiness, joy, optimism, and good luck." But they can also represent "cruelty, grief, and jealously" according to Inked.

Petal Republic also notes that in Hinduism, the marigold is associated with the sun, represented by the Hindu god Surya who is said to have created the universe and life itself (via World History). Marigolds are also used in Buddhism, often used to worship Buddha via temple offerings.

The different colors of marigolds can also represent certain emotions. According to Petal Republic, a red bloom can signify love, while an orange blossom can convey passion. Combinations of colors can also carry significant meaning. For example, orange/red marigolds can represent romance, while yellow/gold marigolds signify optimism.

Choose the marigold species that fits your vibe

With over 50 different species of marigold to choose from (via Petal Republic), it can be a little daunting to pick one for a tattoo. But it would seem there are six species that are most often used (via Tatt Mag), including Mexican, French, Signet, Southern Cone, Red-crescent, and Pot marigold. Each species denotes the same feelings of positivity, passion, and love, but each has its own distinct appearances and patterns.

Take the Signet marigold, for example. This species produces far less plentiful blooms than a Mexican or French marigold, but it's no less beautiful. Instead, the Signet marigold consists of much smaller, delicate flowers that lend very well to watercolor or fine line tattoos (via Cosmopolitan). As for what this species in particular represents, Tatt Mag says these small marigolds are typically found on those with "a passion for the arts" or passion for what you love in general.