Garyfalia is a Greek name, which means carnation, the flower. Carnations were mentioned in Greek literature 2,000 years ago.
The original name of the flower is “dianthus” or to be precise Dianthus caryophyllus, the name “Dianthus” was coined by Greek botanist Theophrastus, and is derived from the Ancient Greek words for divine (“dios”) and flower (“anthos”).
The name “carnation” is believed to come from the Latin corona-ae, a “wreath, garland, chaplet, crown”, as it was one of the flowers used in Greek and Roman ceremonial crowns, or possibly from the Latin caro (genitive carnis), “flesh”, which refers to the natural color of the flower, or in Christian iconography incarnatio, “incarnation”, God made flesh in the form of Jesus.
According to Greek mythology, when Zeus saw that Hera had her own flower (lily), he became jealous and so he threw a lightning bolt on the plain of Thessaly where the carnation was created, which is just as beautiful and with a refined aroma as that of the lily.
That is why the carnation as “flower of Zeus (Dias)” is called Dianthos. And the modern Greek name of the flower is “garyfalo”, thus “Garyfalia”.
Carnations express love, fascination, and distinction, though there are many variations dependent on color.
For example, the red carnation can be used as a symbol of socialism and the labor movement, and historically has often been used in demonstrations on International Workers’ Day (May Day).
In the Netherlands are associated with Prince Bernhard. He wore one during World War II and in a gesture of defiance some of the Dutch population took up this gesture.
After the war the white carnation became a sign of the Prince, veterans and remembrance of the resistance.
Reference: “The legend of the carnation”, Library notes, Alabama Public Library Service, 1965.