even for a funeral, it's odd for happiness..
i discovered that it's bad to give an even number of flowers to someone unless it's for a sad occasion like a funeral. the 8th of march is women's day, an international holiday that has an interesting history in russia and several of the former soviet bloc countries. here's a wiki link to photo and more details.
when i gave flowers to my girlfriend, she happily excepted them but kindly asked me why i picked an even number. she then explained that traditionally an even number of flowers that are given to those suffering a loss, while an odd number is used to celebrate times of happiness. being the foreigner that i am, she quickly forgave me for my slip up.
the 8th of march is a big holiday in russia. i compare it to mother's day and valentine's day combined in the states. the florists were packed over the weekend as men swarmed the city buying bouquets for the ladies in their lives. it was also a time for the vendors to mark up the flowers in price. since i was meeting other female friends, i couldn't show up empty handed so i bought some extra flowers. i even got to practice my russian through out the day, as i wished good health, success and happiness to all the women i ran into during the day. the phone companies were so busy with sms messages to everyone, that it took a half an hour for one to get through.
even at work, the men stepped up their game as we met and organized for an event to present to the ladies on the friday before the holiday. this year we dressed in hawaiian shirts and shorts, met all the ladies at the door to adorn them with leis, and performed a song with musical accompaniment. this was followed by a gift giving ceremony and as a grand finale; a funny indoor fireworks display involving bubble wrap.