When most people see an orchid, they think of a tropical paradise where this exotic flower grows. When Mike and Faith Young see orchids, they think of their daughter.
April 16 is National Orchid Day, a holiday the South Carolina couple created three years ago as a way to remember their daughter, Orchid Faith. Although Orchid Faith left this world shortly after entering it, her memory lives on through National Orchid Day.
Here’s a look at how National Orchid Day came to be and how it’s celebrated today.
The Story Behind National Orchid Day
Mike and Faith Young fell in love with orchids while volunteering at an orchid reserve in San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico.
After the loss of their infant daughter on April 16, 2014, Mike and Faith wanted to reclaim the day and celebrate her memory with their favorite flower. Within hours of starting a campaign, they raised the $1,500 required to register National Orchid Day as a holiday.
Since then, National Orchid Day has gained widespread recognition from orchid growers, enthusiasts and botanical gardens. The Youngs even named a new species of orchid called Radiant Faith in honor of Mother’s Day.
“Creating National Orchid Day helped us redirect the ways people react to hearing about our loss,” Mike said.“They often end up being amazed that (starting a national holiday) is even possible and then impressed at our dedication to our little girl.”
Today, the couple have a daughter and son, Alice (pictured at right) and Max.
They recently took them to the Asheville, N.C. Orchid Festival.
Celebrating National Orchid Day
National Orchid Day falls on a Monday this year, but you can keep the celebration going longer, as April is also National Orchid Month. Here are a few creative ways to celebrate the beauty of orchids:
- Throw an orchid-themed garden party for your friends. Make a stunning DIY orchid centerpiece and give each guest a mini orchid to take home.
- Spruce up your home decor for spring by pairing orchids with colorful accent pieces
- Surprise someone special with an orchid.
- Enjoy a cup of orchid tea made from wild, edible orchids.
- Make a DIY project like this orchid terrarium.
- Share your favorite orchid photos on social media with the hashtag #NationalOrchidDay.
However you choose to celebrate, National Orchid Day is a day to reflect, remember, and celebrate the people you hold dear.
Now that you know the origin behind the day, we hope you'll find a way to share it with the ones you love.
(Photos courtesy of Mike Young)