• swarbrickconnie

Danes and Valentines Day??

The Danes do Valentine’s Day right. In Denmark, Valentine’s Day just is not that big of a deal. In fact, the Valentine’s Day we know and, um, love did not even find its place there until the 1990s. The hearts and chocolates and all that have only been customary for little more than 30 years. Mostly, Danes celebrate the day by admirers sending the one they love or for whom they long spring flowers called snowdrops and gaekkebrev or a lover's card.


 

Lover's Cards


People of Denmark referred to Valentine’s Day cards as “lover’s cards” and they were once made from transparent material that reflected a picture of a lover bestowing a gift to his or her significant other when it was held up to the light. Instead of the red roses many Americans associate with Valentine’s Day, Danish people give white flowers that they call “snowdrops.” People used to give pressed white flowers to their Valentines, but these days they have switched to bouquets.

 

Gaekkebrev

These are pieces of paper that have had holes cut from them to create a design – much like the snowflakes you made in elementary school. Gaekkebrev loosely translates to “joke letter.” The joke is in the way the sender signs his or her name. It is done in dots, one for each letter of the name. If the recipient can solve who the sender is, the sender owes them Easter candy about two months later. If they are unable to guess who sent the gaekkebrev, the recipient owes the sender an Easter treat.


This game of guessing and the gaekkebrev tradition dates to the 18th century and was specifically for Easter. Moving it up a bit to coincide with Valentine’s Day began when the love holiday arrived in Denmark 30-something years ago. This, of course, makes it harder to find snowdrops to send with the lover’s card, as the Danes call it, so in most cases, a box of chocolates suffices.


If writing joke poems was encouraged here, many would have saved themselves a lot of a of embarrassing Valentine’s Days.





 

Snowdrops


The exact reason snowdrops are the flower of choice for Valentines day in Denmark I have yet to find perhaps by next Valentines day, however the history of the snowdrop is long and covers the full globe, it is a most interesting flower indeed. I think that the flower is given due to the sense of hope the delicate white flower brings at the end of winter and the purity of the white signifying the pure of heart and hope of love returned. Or it could be this reason as well. The snowdrop flower itself also plays into the joke, being a portent of a not-quite-arrived Spring season.

Snowdrops are a beautiful and delicate beginning of spring. They bloom during the months of February through March often while there is still snow on the ground. They give gardens an early start when most flowers are still dormant.


A Moldovan legend describes a fight between Lady Spring and Winter Witch; details show that at a point in the battle Lady Spring cuts her finger. The drop of blood melted the snow and a snowdrop flower grew. The pure white flower was a sign of Lady’s Spring’s victory over the Winter Witch.

A German folktale shows a gentler side to the snowdrop. At the beginning of time, Snow searched for a color to borrow. The elements admired flowers and their colors. When Snow asked and pleaded for one of the colors of the flowers, the flowers turned way denying Snow a color; they felt Snow was too cold and unpleasant. The snowdrop however felt sorry for Snow and offered it its color.

Snow accepted the gift and became white from that point on. To show its gratitude, Snow allowed snowdrops to bloom at the end of winter with Snow’s protection against snow and ice. Snow and snowdrops exist side-by-side as friends.

Snowdrops have many meanings and symbols associated with it. They can mean purity, innocence, and sympathy.


 

Did you know Pandora Jewelry was created by a Dane??

Pandora's simple clean, beautiful jewelry ranks right up with the top three, Cartier, and Tiffany's. As a Canadian and a women I have to say Pandora is my favorite jewelry style. They were the first to create a jewelry line of jewelry elements to assemble so that women could design there own, in a price margin that most could afford and continue to add to. There marketing strategy was genius to say the least, as well as gorgeous. There history and branding are equally ingenious.




THE PANDORA STORY

It all started nearly 30 years ago. Back in 1982 a jeweller’s shop that would one day become PANDORA was established in modest surroundings in Copenhagen, Denmark, by Danish goldsmith Per Enevoldsen and his wife Winnie. From the beginning, they often travelled to Thailand in search of jewelry for importing. As the demand for their products increased, their focus gradually shifted towards wholesale to clients in Denmark. In 1987, after several successful years as wholesalers, the retail activities were discontinued and the company moved to larger premises. Meanwhile, the first in-house designer joined the company and PANDORA began to focus on creating its own unique jewelry. In 1989, the company decided to start manufacturing its jewelry in Thailand


 

Pandora brand history

The company was doing just like any other company in jewelry business. The brand was owned by a Danish family with but a few employees in staff. The family decided that Pandora is a good name for a jewelry company. Those who have never touched upon Greek mythology would say that this is just a beautiful woman’s name. The ones who heard some of those however would remember a curious maiden opening the forbidden box. Moreover, Greek learners would understand it differently again, as “Pandora” is translated as "bearer of all gifts”.

Things altered completely when the company owners personally developed their own unique sales strategy in 1999. They came up with the idea of selling jewelry elements instead of entire items. It was a brilliant move indeed as ladies were given an opportunity to design their own jewelry. And the idea really struck the market when the company started to sell “charms” with Pandora logo on them. Charms are elements of pendants, armlets, necklaces which can be worn as a centerpiece or combined to make even more beautiful jewelry. Thanks to ingenious designers’ ideas the charms has become extremely popular.


 

The Greek Myth of Pandora