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dararat (ดารารัตน์)

Thai designation for the Narcissus or Daffodil, one of the earliest flowers to bloom in Spring and are thus associated with springtime and rebirth. The Thai designation is a compound of the words dara, meaning ‘star’, and rat, i.e. a precious ‘gem’. It was the favorite flower of King Bhumiphon and popularly it is offered to a loved one. It is said to signify honour, bravery and hope, and in his youth King Rama IX often presented it to Queen Sirikit when they stayed in Switzerland. Hence, it was one of seven types of dok maijan, i.e. sandalwood flowers, used in the royal cremation ceremony of King Rama IX, in October 2017. The etymology of the name Narcissus is unknown, but it has been suggested to derive from the Greek narcotico (ναρκωτικό), which means ‘intoxicated’ and refers to its fragrance, though it is often incorrectly linked to the myth of Narkissos (Νάρκισσος), i.e. the beautiful Greek hunter who fell in love with his own reflection and whom in both Latin and English is also referred to as Narcissus.