Linen represents the fourth wedding anniversary, and it is relatively easy to choose a suitable gift. Many items are available in this versatile material. Perhaps you yourself are celebrating a linen wedding anniversary. Or you are looking for a gift for friends or family. You are sure to find some ideas here. Of course, you could also use this opportunity to purchase an item with the relevant flower or gemstone. This would be a thoughtful touch.
Why is Linen the Gift for a Fourth Wedding Anniversary?
Linen is an unusual choice for an anniversary. There are several suggestions as to why this is. Firstly, it is an absorbent material. It symbolises that after four years together, a couple can absorb any problems or issues within their marriage. Linen also has anti-allergenic properties and therefore represents a couple wishing to protect each other.
The History of Linen
Linen is from the fibres of the flax plant, which grows all over Central Asia and the Mediterranean. Ancient Egyptian mummies are famous for linen wrappings, to symbolise their wealth. Its initial use was string before the invention of spinning, allowing for clothing materials. The plants require soaking in water which rots the outer stem, exposing the useful linen fibres, ready for use.
The Road to Riches
When woven in a dense manner, linen is particularly strong and durable and was useful as sails for Roman boats as early as 500 BC. Etruscan soldiers in Italy also wore it like armour. Flax became a valuable resource for trade in the middle ages, especially in Germany, where it was the reason for the wealth of the Fuggers family, who were the richest in Europe at that time.
The Decline and Rise in Popularity
The popularity of linen continued into the 19th century, when it was still handwoven in people’s homes, adding to its luxurious connotations and exclusivity. With the advent of the industrial age, linen fell out of fashion with cotton and synthetic materials as an alternative. It is only really in the last few years that its value has been recognised, and now people are enjoying the feel of linen again.
Great Gift Ideas for a Linen Anniversary
Linen has a variety of purposes, with plenty of choices for an appropriate anniversary gift. A personalised linen print is a thoughtful idea, with the couple’s names and wedding date. Linen covers and throws are available in a variety of designs and can have a personal touch, such as the Mr and Mrs Penguin cushion cover. High-quality linen bedding and pillowcases make a thoughtful, chosen to match a bedroom’s colour scheme. Embroidered tablecloths and matching napkins may be suitable for a social couple who enjoy hosting dinner parties.
Which Flower Symbolises a Fourth Anniversary?
The attractive and well-known flower, the hydrangea, symbolises the fourth wedding anniversary and can be found in various shades of blue, pink and purple. Pink hydrangeas mean “you are the beat of my heart”, making them an ideal romantic gift. Of course, you don’t have to give the flower itself, as many items can be found with a hydrangea decor theme. Some examples include jewellery, vases, art prints, placemats and scarves. Fine bone china printed mugs will make a welcome gift for any home, and you can read my review of a set here.
Facts About Hydrangeas
Astonishingly, archaeologists have found fossils of hydrangea bulbs, which date back over 65 million years, in America. However, cultivation didn’t begin until the Japanese took an interest in the flower and its ideal use for landscaping. Europe saw the arrival of hydrangeas in 1736 where their large pom-pom shaped flower heads appeared in all the best gardens in society.
Hydrangea Meanings and Symbols
Hydrangeas have many different meanings according to which country you are in, and which colour you choose. In Japan, the flower is an apology, expressing regret and sorrow. It follows the example of emperors who would present hydrangeas to young maidens. In Europe, they symbolise arrogance and left on people’s doorsteps to indicate that a rude person lives there!
Is There a Gemstone for the Fourth Wedding Anniversary?
The recognised gemstone for a fourth wedding anniversary is the blue topaz, a pretty crystal which does actually come in other colours as well. It is one of the hardest minerals, meaning that it is ideal for carving or engraving, making for some unique jewellery items. My particular favourite is the snowflake Swiss blue topaz pendant. Most obviously, it can be found in necklaces, rings and bangles but other items can be embellished with blue topaz, including key rings, clocks and keepsake boxes.
This pretty stone is actually rarely found in the earth and is often produced synthetically. Its name comes from the Greek word Topazios, which describes the largest of a group of islands in Egypt, popular with divers. In Egyptian mythology, blue topaz is the symbol of Ra, the giver of life and Sun God. Naturally occurring topaz is pale blue in colour, but the most valuable examples are pink, red and orange. Strangely, some of the deeper coloured stones have been found to be radioactive!
The Stone of Spirituality
Blue topaz is said to calm the emotions and is known as a stone to promote peacefulness and tranquillity. For those who consider that they have psychic abilities, it is thought to magnify these powers, allowing for inner guidance. Blue topaz is believed to encourage creativity and promote concentration while removing insomnia and thoughts of greed.
Four Years and Counting
The last four years will undoubtedly have flown by so quickly, full of memories and moments. Couples may have a family by now, and be settled into their domestic routine, but that is no reason not to enjoy celebrating their linen wedding anniversary. The first milestone anniversary, that of five years, will be here before you know it.
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