A dozen roses may be considered one of the most romantic gifts for a woman in America, but in Russia and other countries in the FSU, it’s considered bad luck. Despite your best intentions, your romantic overtures will face a serious setback.
Don’t give flowers in even numbers!
This is because in Russia, flowers in even numbers (numbers that end in 0,2,4,6 and 8) are reserved for funerals. Giving these numbers to a girl would condemn your chances with her to the afterlife. It’s considered very bad luck to do so, or perhaps she’ll think that you wish her dead.
Russian women love flowers. They love flowers more than American women, I suspect. You just can’t give her flowers in even numbers (that includes 12). Stick with odd numbers (1,3,5,7 and 9). So if you have in your heart to give a dozen roses, stick with 11 instead; I wouldn’t try giving thirteen either since I’m pretty sure that’s also an unlucky number in Russia.
This is the one Russian custom that I fear American men will miss out on to their detriment if they haven’t done their research in understanding Russia customs and traditions. Can a man possibly salvage the transgression by explaining that a dozen roses are a very romantic gift in America? Honestly, I don’t know. She may even be forgiving of a foreigner who isn’t aquainted with such knowledge, but the moment of romance that you were trying to set up as a man simply won’t happen and your efforts will be in vain nevertheless. So I wouldn’t take the chance of giving any other number of roses accept for odd numbers.
Stick with red roses, it’s the color associated with love and passion. You may feel like getting creative and distinguishing yourself by getting roses in different colors, but this may convey a message that you don’t want to send. Stick with red only when it comes to roses. You can play around with colors of other flowers in floral arrangements but not with roses. Keep it simple.
Don’t forget Woman’s Day!
Russian women will always love receiving flowers on holidays and her birthday. Valentine’s Day is another holiday that has become popular in Russia also. But there is one holiday you must absolutely never forget. It’s a holiday that isn’t really observed in the West so you might miss it. It is Woman’s Day and it is celebrated on March 8 in all FSU countries and even many former Communist countries.
The closest analogous holiday in America would be Mother’s Day, but Woman’s Day is even more of a big deal. Men in Russia will go out and buy flowers and gifts for all the women in their lives. Not just the mothers but daughters, cousins and girlfriends. The women get to relax on this day while the men take care of the house and do other special favors.
Do not forget Woman’s Day. You have been warned! Fortunately, for the Western man, there are international flower delivery services on the internet that you can use to order flowers for delivery. All you need is an address. If you don’t have her address, (it’s possible if you’re just starting to see each other) make sure you have her cell phone number at least. The delivery service might be able to call and confirm the address with your lady. The international services make this very easy and convenient, so Google for a couple of them and see who has reasonable prices and selections. It’s so easy you have no excuse.