Why is the Pineapple the Symbol for Hospitality?
Have you ever wondered why pineapples are everywhere from notebook covers to t-shirts? Sure, the same could be said for a myriad of other foods, but there’s no denying the pineapple’s ever-growing popularity. Turns out, it isn’t by coincidence that this fruit is so prevalent in our everyday décor!
Let’s transport our minds back to the 17th century. European powers had begun using their vast wealth to explore the world. As they took to the sea, making landfall in places like Asia, Africa, and the Americas, they established new colonies to hunker down.
These Colonial Era sea captains picked up a tradition we still see in use today. As they returned from their voyages to tropical destinations around the world, they would bring back pineapples. These unusual fruits not only served as proof that long distances were traveled (and long distances = great stories to tell) but also served as a sign of greeting to announce their return home.
The pineapples were then hung on their doors and symbolized their homecoming. They were intended to signify a polite invitation for neighbors who may want to stop by and visit and hear of unimaginable adventure, much in the way we use welcome mats today.
Over time, the pineapple symbol became traditional sign of hospitality. Instead of hanging a real pineapple on one’s door (because let’s be real – those things are tasty), an image of a pineapple would be carved into a door or sign near the front of a home.