The heart symbol is an ideograph that is the symbol of affection, passion and love, especially romantic love. You can see the sign everywhere, as smileys in your smartphone, in candy’s, cakes, cards and almost everywhere. Let us have a look at the origin of the most popular symbol of love.
How and when people started using the heart symbol
There are many theories suggesting different stories about the origin of the heart symbol. Although not exact, human heart looks somewhat similar to the symbol. The blood red color of the symbol matches exactly with the actual heart. It is obvious to think so because the heart is the center of your emotions, thoughts, love and all those good and bad feelings.
The Catholic style
Another origin, which Catholic Church believes is that the symbol appeared in a dream to Saint Margaret Mary. She had got a dream where she saw the sacred heart of Jesus surrounded with thorns. While this story exists, history says that the heart shape had already documented before she had this vision.
Derived from kissing position
It is also a good thinking that the heart symbol had its shape from the kissing position when the couples stand together with their chest pressed and arms intertwined forming the shape of a heart.
The Swans and their way
One suggested origin is that the symbol originated from the shape formed when two swans come together as if they are about to kiss. Swans face each other to smell their breath to identify other swans, and they do this often. Mated pairs also do this as a sign of bonding between them. You can usually see the picture of two swans forming a heart shape in Valentine’s Day cards.
The Silphium natural herb
Another popular story is revolving around Silphium which is a herb has the exact shape of the heart symbol when it is fully grown. Silphium is a Mediterranean herb, which is using as a spice in food and used for abortion in the olden days. The plant is probably an extinct species today, so we do not know the genuineness of the story, but in the ancient Cyrenian coins, we can see the embossed pictures of Silphium seeds.
Something similar to woman’s buttocks
Some hypothesis says that the heart shape came from the shape of the torso of a human body having a wider chest. If you keep the heart upside down, the rounded part looks similar to that of a woman’s buttocks. The heart symbol is just like that, but the question is then how it became inverted over time? Again, that remains as a question.
The heart shape was in use before 14th century
Studies state that the usage of heart shape was there before the 14thcentury, but it was not associated with love that time. The shape is found in many earlier ancient sources, but they depict foliage’s rather than the heart. The first reference of a heart symbol representing love was in a picture in Roman manuscript where the lover kneels down before his lady and offering a pine cone representing his heart.
Therefore, the truth is again unknown to us, but there has to be a beginning for everything. Whatever be its origin, the red symbol will continue as a symbol of passion and love till something else replaces it.