It feels like unicorns are everywhere at the moment, from pencil cases to luggage accessories to cakes. Why is everyone so obsessed with them? Online searches for the department store, John Lewis, for the word “unicorn” has nearly doubled in the last year! So let’s have a closer look into these mythical beasts.
What are Unicorns?
What do we know about these mysterious creatures? Stories about unicorns have been around for thousands of years. In European folklore, the unicorn is often depicted as a white horse-like or goat-like animal with a long horn and cloven hooves (sometimes a goat’s beard). Unicorns are often shown as pure white. However, in many stories they can be any colour from jet-black and brown to dazzling gold, brilliant red or pink. In the Middle Ages, they werecommonly described as extremely wild woodland creatures, a symbol of purity and grace, which could only be captured by a virgin. In the encyclopaedias, their horns weresaid to have the power to render poisoned water potable and to heal sickness. Many of the horns that were displayedat this time as unicorn horns actually came from other creatures, like rhinos and narwhals.
Unicorns in Film
Unicorns have also made appearances in both literature and films in recent times. A unicorn was featured in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’. He Who Cannot Be Named (or whispers…Voldemort) needs to drink unicorn blood to stay alive. In the world of Harry Potter, killing a unicorn is seen as a terrible crime. In contrast to this dark side,Agnes adores her unicorn inDespicable me. Here she sees them as beautiful fluffy creatures. Her love goes so far as to recognise a one horned goat as such, demonstrating the magic of children’ imaginations. I wouldn’t want to be the one to correct her! Throughout the ages, they have appeared in books such as CS Lewis’s Narnia and Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass.Although, curiously, omitted from any of Tolkien’s works. Perhaps it was their Celtic overtones that deterred him. After all he did put just about everything else in his books!
But what lead to the recent fascination with all things Unicorn’? Well, social media has played its part, namely Instagram. As I type this the hashtag #unicorn has had over 6,776,915 posts, ranging from the famous Starbucks unicorn coffee to brightly coloured unicorn braided hair. It’ not just for children though, adults are expressing themselves with unicorn accessories such as mugs and umbrellas. Maybe it’s the romantic and fantasist in us that wants to escape from modern life. Whatever the reason it certainly brings out the child in all of us. They were inspiration behind our cake cards. Customers can purchase these from our website but, interestingly, are most likely to send them to other adults. Likeminded fans of rainbow droppings? They are a delicious bit of fun, perfect alongside a glass of Prosecco. Why not grab some and share them with your friends?