National Unicorn Day is celebrated on 9th April each year. It was first introduced in 2015 as a dedicated occasion to honour these mythical, majestical and ethereal creatures.
In this week’s blog we explore the origins of the unicorn and how best to celebrate with help from The Works.
A symbol of Enchantment and Purity
The unicorn is a legendary symbol of enchantment and purity and is representative of childlike magic and wonder. We often see unicorns on clothing, stationery, birthday cakes and even soft furnishings – after all, it’s not just children who enjoy this creature steeped in the realms of mythology.
Unicorns were first referenced in Greek literature by the historian Ctesias in 400BC. The animal was referred to as a single-horned creature resembling a horse or goat. The actual animal behind Ctesias’s description was probably the Indian rhinoceros. Unicorns also appeared in the artworks of early Mesopotamia and in ancient myths originating from China and India.
Various passages in the Bible also refer to a strong and splendid horned animal called re’em – this word was translated as unicorn or rhinoceros in many versions of the book.
- Unicorn means ‘one horn’. From ‘uni’ meaning ‘one’ and ‘cornu’ meaning ‘horn’.
- Unicorns have been representative of different traits over time, including innocence, purity, freedom, and power. They have also been symbols for both men and women over the years.
- The Unicorn is the national animal of Scotland. The unicorn appears on Scottish heraldry and its coat of arms. It was chosen because the unicorn is believed to be the natural enemy of the lion – England’s national symbol.
- Queen Elizabeth I was given a unicorn horn in 1577. Explorer Martin Frobisher found it on the shores of Canada and presented it to the queen as a gift, but it was lost during the Civil War. The gift was actually a narwhal tusk.
- In the Middle Ages, people would drink from ‘unicorn cups’. These were made out of the horns of other animals. The drinkers believed drinking from the cups would protect them against poison.
- The Throne of Denmark is made from unicorn horns. The Danish throne is, according to legend, made of unicorn horns and has been used by monarchs since the 17th Century. The throne is actually made from narwhal tusks.
Celebrate with help from The Works
The Works at PE1 has a range of unicorn-themed paraphilia to help you celebrate National Unicorn Day. Below are some of our favourites:
Unicorn Styling Head: £7
Bring home the wonder of Magic Kingdom with a Unicorn Styling Head. Children will love brushing, braiding and pinning their unicorn’s hair into various styles with the butterfly printed hairbrush and colourful hairpins. Includes unicorn styling head, hairbrush and accessories.
Sparkle Like a Unicorn 300 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle: £4
Piece together a magical image with beautiful puzzle. The completed result is a bright and colourful image of unicorns, flowers and rainbows with the words “sparkle like a unicorn”.
Unicorns Magic Painting Book by Camilla Garofano: £4
Explore the wonderful world of unicorns with this magic painting book. This fun-filled relaxing painting book is a great idea for all unicorn-lovers.
Trace And Learn Unicorn Handwriting Practice by Elizabeth Golding: £2.50
Help your child to develop handwriting skills with the aid of unicorns! This book helps your child to practise their upper and lower case handwriting skills and to learn the letters of the alphabet. The A-Z unicorn pictures are designed to help children remember their alphabet and to motivate beginning readers.
How to Find a Unicorn: £5
Nature is full of magic and beauty… if you know where to look. Explore forests and fields and discover creatures both natural and magical. Learn the secrets of the trees and hedges, birds and berries, wildflowers and woodland animals. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of something truly magical. This stunning hardback book by Autumn Publishing is great gift idea!
However you choose to celebrate National Unicorn Day, remember you can always find magic and wonder at PE1!