What Does the Pineapple Symbolize?
What Does the Pineapple Symbolize?
Pineapples have an interesting history — especially when it comes to their symbolism. Back in the 15th and 16th centuries, they became a worldwide obsession due to their stately appearance and relative rarity around the world at the time. The fruits were once considered a rare delicacy, and there was a time when European royals were willing to pay what some saw as obscene amounts of money for the chance to display prized pineapples on their dinner tables. But these regal fruits still hold interesting meanings today, too. Find out how the symbolism of the pineapple has evolved over time.
What Does a Pineapple Symbolize?
In 1493, Christopher Columbus brought back a few pineapples to Spain from his second voyage to the Americas. Nobody could’ve predicted that he would spark a new obsession, but Europeans fell in love with the exotic fruit. Soon pineapples became so popular that if nobles couldn’t afford one of their own they’d rent them for an evening to display on their tables in front of guests.
Symbol of Friendship
Pineapples are native to Brazil, where they spread among Indigenous peoples to other areas in South America and Central America and to nearby islands. Once the fruit became all the rage among the Portuguese and Spanish, the pineapple began to travel to Malaysia, India and other tropical areas of Asia. Due to the Europeans’ love of the fruit, Indigenous groups hung pineapples outside their homes as a sign of friendship and to welcome guests.
Symbol of Hospitality
Over time, the pineapple also became a symbol used by wealthy sea captains who had just returned home from long journeys. By placing pineapples outside their doors, they signaled to their neighbors that they’d returned home safely and had plenty of goods and stories to share.
Symbol of Fertility
Ironically, the pineapple has at times been associated with both infertility and fertility alike. This is because pineapples are among the only fruits that rarely grow from planted seeds; they often require human intervention to reproduce. More recently, they’ve become a popular symbol on social media for people who are undergoing fertility treatments.
Pineapples have also been a symbol of virility dating back to the time of the Aztecs. It was a sign of stamina if someone had the strength to climb high enough up a pineapple tree to retrieve the fruit and open its tough outer shell.
Symbol of Graciousness
When pineapples were still rare in Europe, it was a definite boost to a person’s social status if they could manage to find one to use to decorate their dinner table. For a pineapple to survive the long ocean voyage intact was a near miracle, so getting their hands on one meant they had some real connections. Even if the host didn’t actually serve the exotic fruit, guests were in awe over the simple chance to feast their eyes on such a treasure.
Symbol of Generosity
Again, because pineapples were so rare, people used to display them for as long as possible — usually until the fruits began to go bad — before actually eating them. That said, if someone actually served their guests pineapple as part of a dinner or dessert course, it was considered a stunning act of generosity.
Pineapple Symbolism in the Bible
While pineapples are never directly mentioned in the Bible, they’ve been used as a symbol in Christianity from time to time. Due to their associations with generosity, they were often consumed at religious feasts to symbolize warmth, prosperity and friendship.
They were also occasionally used in Christian architecture to mimic the large pinecones atop old Roman buildings. Some also considered them a representation of Christ because of the idea that a pineapple must “sacrifice its own life” to produce another single pineapple, though this is somewhat of a misconception.
Pineapple Dream Meaning
If pineapples are so symbolic, then what does it mean if you have a dream about one? There’s a variety of books and articles out there that claim to be able to tell you what coming across a pineapple in your dreams means, but the truth is that dreams tend to be much more relative.
Just like different symbols mean different things to different people, our dreams tend to be personal and include symbolism that’s unique to each dreamer. The best way to get at the heart of your dream is to ask yourself what first comes to mind when you think of a pineapple.
Do you picture a vacation at the beach with friends or a day of relaxation in a tropical paradise? Maybe you hate the taste of pineapples or find them the most frustrating fruit ever due to how hard they are to open. No matter how you feel about them personally, your opinion of the fruit is highly likely to factor into your dreams.
If they symbolize a tropical or fun environment for you, then it’s likely that you’re subconsciously either excited about an upcoming vacation or are longing for one. Enjoying the fruit with friends in a dream may be an expression of the fond feelings you have for them or the fun times you associate them with.
On the other hand, if you dream of a pineapple that you’re having problems reaching or getting open, this is likely a symbol of some sort of underlying frustration that’s weighing on your mind. If you don’t tend to like pineapples but dream of someone presenting you with one to eat, it could be possible that person has left a metaphorical “bad taste in your mouth.”
It’s important to keep in mind that all dreams vary in meaning depending on whom you ask. So, don’t read too much into it if a random blog tells you that dreaming of pineapples predicts the end of a relationship or that you’re soon going to become rich. Focus instead on the situations and people surrounding the pineapple in your dream, and see if you can find any similar symbolic connections.