The Heart Symbol

heart.gifYou cannot deny the influence of romance on Proms and Formal Events. People sometimes fall in love at these events and the feeling of affection is almost everywhere you look as people dance and talk. A popular symbol used in decorating these is the Heart symbol. Usually red, it does appear in other colors. Since it looks nothing like the human heart have you ever wondered where it came from? What is it? The answer is that it’s still a mystery to the world.

Some have said it looks like the heart of a cow, or of a turtle. Historians have noticed it could depict features of the human female body. It has been seen on ancient coins from the city of Cyrene (a formerly Greek city, founded in c.630 BCE, now in modern day Libya), some of which depict the seeds or fruit of the extinct silphium plant. The seeds are heart-shaped. The plant was widely used as an ancient herbal contraceptive so this shape may have come to be associated with sexuality and love through that connection. What is of interest is that there is no set moment of its creation, it just seems to have come through time as a symbol for the human heart and affection. How appropriate that the symbol for love is just as elusive and varied in description as Love itself.

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