Do hope you enjoy reading my blog and your comments are always welcome. I read them all.
The Spanish Fan
Fans became the ideal instrument of communication throughout an era when young ladies of good families were constantly guarded and escorted by their chaperon, so that they could have no intimate contact with the opposite sex before marriage and during a time where freedom of expression for women was totally restricted.
However as I am sure you all know love and passion will have its way and the forbidden fruit is always the most tempting, hence the language of fans became a form of intimate communication generally between admirers or lovers.
I'd like to give you here just a brief insight into the basics of fan communication:
1. To fan yourself rapidly means "I love you immensely"
2. To fan yourself slowly pausing now and again means that "you are married and you aren't interested". If you open and close your fan slowly it means the same.
3. Now then ...careful with this one.....to close your fan slowly means "YES". but if you open and close your fan quickly...sharpish like you mean "Watch it! I'm engaged "
4. To close your fan means "NO"
5. Here's another one you have to be pretty careful with...to drop your fan means "I belong to you"
6. If you lift your hair slightly with your fan it means "I'm thinking of you,I won't forget you"
7. If you cover your face with an open fan it means "Follow me when I leave".
8. If you hold an open fan with both hands it means "best if you forget me".
9. A half open fan over the lips means "you can kiss me"
10. To pass your fan from one hand to the other means " You're messing around with someone else"
and there are many many more.
I learnt some of these from my mother-in-law, the rest I read about.
She always had a fan in her bag and a different one for each occasion .... even during her last years she carried a fan with her. She taught me how to use a fan...which isn't complicated it's just a twist and flick of the wrist. I started to carry one in my bag years ago and continue to do so...it always comes in handy winter or summer and it travels well.
Fans in Spain other than being a decorative graceful item are still used frequently by all ages and always forms part of the regional dress here.
I'd say that fans are a very versatile instrument to have in your handbag not only as a cooling device but to keep the sun out of your eyes...it also entertains a noisy fidgety child and keep flies and mosquitoes at bay.
However don't think the language of fans has died out it has just evolved.
This is my own personal version of modern 2012 language of fans:
1. Fanning yourself rapidly in a hot suffocating restaurant means "switch the flipping air conditioning on" I assure you it works 99% of the time.
2. Holding up a closed fan above your head means "errr waiter ??? "
3. It can also mean " I'm over here dear"
4.Holding a closed fan and tapping it against the bottom of your chin means " hang on I'm thinking"
5.Fanning yourself erratically and fidgeting while in a queue means "come on I'm in a hurry"
6.Opening and shutting your fan quickly while holding it in both hands means "I'm bored..haven't you finished talking about football yet?"
there are more but I'd be telling, wouldn't I?
Fans can be quite cheap and some extremely expensive ones, especially ones hand painted and decorated on both sides and signed by the artist.
You can get a small handbag fan,a daily fan,a beach fan, a fan for men and one of my favourites, the large fan which is used at a bull fight, ( incidentally don't think for a minute I have been to a bullfight I am totally against it and luckily Sr P too).
You can also buy covers for your fan but I decided, inspired by all the crochet makes throughout blog land, to make my own.
I am not totally happy with it as it is a bit of a tight fit.
I plan to make another for one of my other fans and I'll make it a bit wider.
I've used Nº 5 perle cotton and a 1,50 hook and a bright pink transparent bead (which looks orangey in the photo) to hook the flap down. Its a very basic pattern made up as I went along in one piece...it could also be adapted to make pouches for glasses,ipods,mobile phones and many other things I'm sure.
Friday tomorrow folks...... so have a great weekend
Hi Amanda, after reading this I wouldn't dare have a fan ... god knows what mixed messages I'd be sending out! Could get you into lots of trouble if you didn't know what you were doing! Have a fan tastic weekend xxxReplyDelete
Thanks Clarie and you too!Delete
Hi Amanda! Your post reminded me of by beloved grandma! She was always using a fan during the summers (you also know from hot summers!!!). I had no idea about the whole story behind the fan! Anyway, did I tell you how much I like your handmade cover???ReplyDelete
Greetings from Greece,
I certainly do know about these torrid swealtering summers...a fan is a god send at times. Thanks Angeliki for your kind comments :-)Delete
Brilliant Amanda - what a wonderful post - you had me curious and roaring with laughter. Having reached "that age" I now carry a fan, so I guess I had better be careful with how I use it! The handmade cover is great - I might have a go at that xxxReplyDelete
Exactly that age...and winter or summer I need my fan! The cover is a very simple thing I'm sure you'd get one done in a jiffy.Delete
What a wonderful post. The traditional messages would definitely have had me confused and in trouble, yours make perfect sense and I am still chuckling. I only one it is Japanese - very plain - with just a small hand painted ladybird for decoration. It always makes me smile. The fan cover is an excellent idea.ReplyDelete
Thanks Elaine...some of the Japanese fans are really fantastic.....I'm inclined to think the Spanish fans can be too fussy I'd lean more to simplicity.Delete
Love the painting at the top of your post. Very lovely indeed.ReplyDelete
I didn't realise there was so much to it, this fan business!
Have a lovely weekend!
it is Missy......nor did I ...I just thought a fan was a fan but there is a lot more in it...ones for the right occasion....and to go with what you are wearing too.Delete
Hope you're enjoying your Jubilee weekend too!
A whole new language! I love your fan cover, it's so pretty. xReplyDelete
many thanks :-)
Beautiful fan cover and a very intersting post, thank you for sharing! Thank you displaying my giveaway too!!ReplyDelete
What a lovely idea for the fan!! I love them. My godmother in Brasil uses fans and I remember when I went to Spain I got one to her and she loved it. :)ReplyDelete
A lot of people use them...more than one would think...they aren't dying out which is nice to see.Delete
Thanks for your comments
My eldest daughter is off to spend 4 months in Madrid as part of her degree course in September...I must warn her that she could possibly get into all kinds of problems if she isn't aware of the signals she could be sending out here...lol! She will definitely need a fan because , like me, she wilts in the heat!
I love your crochet fan cover..It's really pretty and such a lovely idea..
Hope you have a happy weekend,
Four months in Madrid .... wow nice...tell her she must go to Toledo which isn't far from Madrid at all its out of this world...and of course The Escorial....worth a visit.Delete
I know that feeling wilting in the heat so then a fan is a must however unfortunately very few people know and use the language of fans nowadays and only a few know about it...certainly not many young people.
Many thanks for your comments
Lovely post Amanda, I received a fan from a friend for a gift many years ago but let's face it how many time's do you need to use a fan in cold rainy England, I do treasure it however as my lovely friend died shortly afterwards with cancer, your post brought back lovely memories of her, I will have to get it out of the drawer and use it after all it is supposed to be summer lol. I like your version of special meanings much more realistic in this day and age I think. The fan cover is a great idea and very pretty, have a lovely weekend. :)ReplyDelete
Well I don't know Linda I've found a fan of use over in the Uk...when you're in a pub or at a party or Christmas time...it can get quite stuffy indoors when a party is in full swing! LOL Do use it your friend would have liked that.Delete
Interesting post! I'm hoping to go to Spain in the fall with my husband. I will definitely be watching closely everyone with a fan.ReplyDelete
Are you? Where are you going to?Delete
How very beautiful, Amanda!ReplyDelete
Everyone that knows me knows that I always carry a fan! It seems that I am often experiencing "my own personal summer"!
How intricately designed the Spanish fans are...each an exquisite masterpiece!
Thank you for sharing and for your delightful crocheted coverlette. Your stitching is lovely!
I am so happy that you chose to visit my blog. I look forward to sharing back and forth in the coming days. Your new friendship is a joy and blessing to me!
Very clever idea! I'll do a fabric,ReplyDelete
I loved it!
Thanks for your comments....good idea!!Delete
I feel well educated in the art of the fan after reading your post and had better be more aware of the signals I'm sending out!!ReplyDelete
What a beautiful piece of lacy crochet - the pretty fan motif that you've used works perfectly! I've just popped over to your lovely blog after reading the really nice comment you left on mine - so nice of you to pop by and say hello!ReplyDelete
Many thanks for visiting and for your comments.
hey Amanda love your version of modern fan language, very funny.......ReplyDelete
Beautiful fan you have and the crocheted case looks very fitting....great colours and interesting pattern.
I have a fan that belonged to my mum, it's very plain, each blade made from a different piece of wood. She bought it when on holidays as a young woman, so it is rather special and I do use it in Summer........
I'm pretty sure no one around me is familiar with the language of the fan or I could be unwittingly sending out some very mixed signals hehe!!
I think you're safe then...not many around nowadays anyhow who can understand the real language of fans. Your fan sounds quite unusual and I can imagine as it was your mothers you must cherish it.
Your modern "Fan talk" is very amusing... I could do with a fan (especially as I'm going through the "hot flush" stage of the dreaded menopause!! ) but I suspect the cats would all consider it a new toy to play with!ReplyDelete
Many thanks for your comments. Exactly ..... my fan comes in very very handy for that and yes at one time my cat would also jump on me when I used my fan but poor chap is past that now!
Hi Amanda! Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog! I am following you now! You should definitely try and visit Galicia sometime. It's lovely. Totally different to the rest of Spain. I am leaving Lugo in a months time to go back to the UK then will start planning a new adventure! I will keep in touch with your blog!:)ReplyDelete
Many thanks for your comments here. I have some Galician friends and they have told me so much about Galicia and it sounds so different from this part of Spain. I'd really like to visit and hope we'll be able to get away sometime soon.
Best of luck in your new adventure.
I feel much more comfortable using a fan under your language versus the original language of the fan. Knowing me, I would be fanning away and stressed out about sending mixed messages by accident.ReplyDelete
You know if the young ladies were so knowledgeable in the use of the language of fans in bygone days then they must have known what each other were saying to their lovers so it couldn't have been so secret......I think I would have tucked my fan in my reticule rather than let on what I was saying to my beau.
Anyhow don't worry you can use a fan nowadays with no worries about what you are saying 'cos its very rare that anyone will understand. Something just don't last tch!
Yay, I found you! I remember my mum had fans, some of them were very pretty. Some people put them on the walls, don't they? Not sure I'd go that far! xxxReplyDelete
Amanda, I am so glad you came to visit my blog. I made that lovely shawl from Rozetti Polaris in the color Cloud Cover. I have used this yarn several times and I really have loved it. I used it for weaving but I think it would work really well with crochet. I would love to use it with a beautiful open pattern so it shows off the sequins. Lovely info on fans, I really enjoyed it. By the way I think I ordered it from Webbs, or Yarn Market.ReplyDelete
Have a great day,
I am Sophie from Greece!!
I like your blog very much and all your creations!!Especially your crochet!!
I wait you to come to my blog too,and i will be very huppy to talk to each other!!
Kisses and have a nice day!!
Many thanks for your comments. I'll be calling into your blog real soon
Have a good day