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 being 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.
“We were simply awestruck at how unique and delicate each little flower expressed itself; so many different sizes, colors, shapes and scents,” Mike said.
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. In 2015, the Youngs 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.”
What Makes Orchids So Unique
Millions of people around the world share the Youngs’ fascination with orchids—and for good reason. There are more than 25,000 documented species of orchids, including Phalaenopsis orchids, and scientists are finding more every day.
Orchids have a symmetry that is similar to the human face, creating the impression that they are looking back at you. Some varieties resemble owls, monkeys and even the insects they are trying to attract.
Native to tropical environments, they are easy to care for and thrive indoors with the right mix of sunlight and water.
Celebrating National Orchid Day This Year
This year, National Orchid Day falls on Easter Sunday, a day already filled with symbolism. Many people already incorporate orchids into their home decor for spring or give them as gifts to friends and family.
Whether you are celebrating Easter or simply gathering with friends and family to enjoy the beauty of spring, it’s a day to reflect, remember, and celebrate the people you hold dear.