The heart symbol is meant to represent love, but in reality it has many meanings depending on the culture that uses it. The heart symbol has been used since ancient times, but its meaning has changed over time, often as a result of the use of the English language, as well as cultural influences and fashions unique to each region of the world. Below we will look at some different meanings of the heart symbol in different cultures.
In China, hearts are synonymous with friendship and love; it is a popular symbol to express how much you care about someone. Chinese people may give their friends and family a gift with two intertwined hearts to show their affection and admiration. If a couple is shown holding hands inside a heart shape - with their faces sticking out of the frame - it means they are deeply in love.
In Japan, a small red heart symbolizes love. Japanese culture is not as overtly romantic as other parts of the world. But the culture of romance certainly exists there - and if you see a Japanese person wearing a little red heart around his or her neck, know that they are saying I love you to someone. In fact, some couples in Japan choose to get matching tattoos of hearts to show how much they mean to each other.
In Celtic culture, a heart can represent not only love and romance, but also luck. A heart drawn on the palm is used to wish someone good luck before an exam or other important event. For example, if you are about to take your driving test, you can ask a friend to draw a heart on your palm with lipstick (or paint it) to wish you good luck before you take your test. Because it symbolizes wish fulfillment, giving someone else a heart with your fingers pointing down is a way to wish them good luck for their future.
The heart symbol was used by the Egyptians as a representation of Maat, who was known as a goddess of truth and justice. In Egyptian mythology, she was depicted as a woman with an ostrich feather on her head, holding a symbolic representation of her heart. She is responsible for weighing hearts against a feather on the day of judgment. If your heart weighed more than hers, you could be denied access to paradise or be eaten by Ammit, the devourer of souls. Brutal treatment!
The heart symbol is indeed universally used to represent love, but some cultures give it a slightly different meaning, associating it also with friendship and luck.
If you have already seen, thanks to your knowledge or while traveling, a use of the heart symbol that you found original, you can let us know and the article will probably be updated to cover more cultures.
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