Curious Bites

Which is the Origin of the Word 'Honeymoon'?

By FDL on

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Which is the Origin of the Word 'Honeymoon'?

From bees to Cupid, honey is quite literally a love potion. Still skeptical? Try going on a “honeymoon”….

According to the ancient Greeks, whoever was hit by Cupid’s arrow immediately fell in love - or into the grip of a great turmoil. This was because Cupid, the winged, curly-haired infant who was the son of Venus, the goddess of love, and Mars, the god of war, loved to make people fall in love - but he also loved to destabilize relationships.

When targeting his chosen couple, he fired arrows dipped in either honey or in gall, according to the effect he wished the arrows to have. In order to get his honey, he used to steal it directly from beehives, with the result that he was often the subject of their angry attacks. For bees too, the act of producing honey is a matter of love, or rather sexuality: it is a substance which derives directly from the essences of the sexual organs of flowers, and this is why it has a natural affinity with everything to do with reproduction.

The marriage between honey and love can be summed up in the meaning of the word ‘honeymoon’: the name, which we now give to the happy couple’s first holiday together after marriage, originally referred to the first month (moon) after their wedding ceremony. Over the course of this month, according to Babylonian tradition, the couple should drink mead in order to promote fertility and aid procreation; according to medieval tradition, however, the term derives from the honey that the bride (a ‘lunar’ creature) brought to her wedding as a dowry.

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