annually on May 8th
Irises are a genus of roughly 300 species of plants in the Iridaceae family. The most well-known is the bearded iris, or common garden iris, a species with fan-shaped flowers that grow on tall stems. Named for the Greek god of the rainbow, irises are found in paintings, used in perfumes, and common in flower arrangements. Irises are celebrated the world over with Iris Day, but the day is a formal celebration in Brussels, Belgium. There, where it is also known as the Festival of Irises or Iris Festival, it honors the flowering time of the yellow iris, the symbol of the region and emblem on its flag, celebrates the victory over the Nazis in World War II, and is the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel, the patron saint of Brussels. A party is held with street entertainment, food trucks, and free concerts, and festivities may last longer than one day.
How to Observe Iris Day
Some ways you could celebrate include:
- Grow some irises.
- Pick irises in the wild or buy some from a florist. Give them to someone or make them into a flower arrangement.
- Paint some irises.
- Attend the Iris Festival in Brussels.