草莓 · [ cǎoméi ]

Strawberries are probably the most popular fruits of all. They have been an integral part of the diet since the stone age. In the middle ages, the first strawberry fields were planted with the small forest strawberries – the large relatives widespread only after the discovery of America. No one can resist the sweet, juicy and red temptation; unless (and this happens relatively often), he is allergic to this edible member of the rose family. 

In the world influenced by Christianity, strawberries are a common motif in visual arts. Their short-growth habit characterized them as a symbol of humility and modesty, especially as an attribute of Jesus and, because they are plants in the rose family they are attributed to the virgin Mary. The references in the Christian iconography are manifold: The tripartite leaves are regarded as a symbol of the Trinity, the five petals represent the five crucifixion wounds of Christ. The down-hanging, red fruit body has been interpreted symbolically as the shed blood of Christ and other martyrs. Furthermore, strawberries are considered to be the plant of paradise.

In a less religious environment strawberry are described in an entirely different way: Because of their shape and the sensual color strawberries embody female sexuality, the are also a symbol of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. A sensual strawberry mouth shall enchant every man. The small, hard green fruit growing to sweet, soft and fiery red, was seen as an image of sexual maturity and readiness for love. The strawberry is considered as the fruit of seduction and temptation, sometimes even as a manifestation of lust and sin. In some areas, strawberries are regarded to be an aphrodisiac and a plate of strawberry soup is served to newly-married couples.

Native Americans regarded the sweet fruit as a representative of the summer and the sun.


> Usage of the symbol

Strawberries symbolize the joie de vivre and the acceptance and enjoyment of life. Of course it is up to you whether you prefer the chaste, humble and peaceful interpretation or the sensual, seductive and passionate version. Maybe one does not exclude the other. The symbolism is as complex and multi-layered as the taste of the fruit. The application of the symbol can be just as varied. A sensual and erotic strawberry picture you probably hang better in the bedroom, whereas an innocent, little strawberry ornament can do well ob the curtains of your kitchen. The strawberry is definitely a joyful fruit. If you want to use this sunny and positive symbol, think about the area you want to activate and then search for a suitable representation.


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