The True Meaning And History Of The Symbols On Playing Cards

Perhaps many people might think that symbols are a recent trend in the world, promoted by design and other aspects of everyday life, but the truth is that symbology and design have been present in the culture of humanity for a long time. An example of this is the classic playing cards.

Knowing the exact origin of playing cards for historians has been a real problem. Some claim that they originated in China, others in Egypt and some in India. Yet, we find that most of them agree that they originated in the twelfth century in China, but a completely solid record that affirms this fact has not yet been achieved.

Cards came to the western world through Spain by Arab hands. The oldest record of their existence in the country dates back to a mention of the ban on the card game by the Council of One Hundred in Barcelona ​​in 1310. So, it is believed that they existed for several years in the territory. From Spain, they arrived in the rest of Europe, and with the colonization of America, they arrived in the “new continent.” Nevertheless, playing cards are present throughout the world today.

The Evolution Of Playing Cards

The image of cards varies according to each region or country. Some countries have their own versions; others adopted versions of foreign countries. With the passing of years, playing cards that reached greater popularity were those of the Spanish deck, the English deck, and the French deck. However, before these well-known decks arrived, an evolution occurred that is worth appreciating.

In China, the cards were a kind of paper money derivative and dominoes and became the antecedent of the popular Mahjong game. These decks are quite particular for two characteristics – they are symmetrical, and they represent the reincarnations of Lord Visnu.

It is important to note that originally, playing cards were made of lacquered cardboard, stone cardboard, wood, and even ivory. Many years later, as we mentioned earlier, these cards arrive in Spain, and there, they adopted a completely different image since they obviously had to adapt to the culture of the country and discard one of the predominant religions of the Asian continent. The first designs were quite rustic, even ugly, but little by little, they improved and reached the beautiful images we know today.

While passing from country to country, starting with Italy, the design of Spanish cards did not change much. It was when these cards arrived in Germany that they became noticeable. The swords were replaced by leaves, gold by bells, clubs by acorns and cups by hearts.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to playing cards. As is evident, there is a super-rich and colorful history behind these entertainment items that are a part of our daily lives today. How would you like to get personalized playing cards or photo playing cards for yourself or your loved ones as a present? Intrigued yet? Visit to know more!



Written by dave



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