April 6th is Pillow fight day. Apparently, it is celebrated in some area by charging the streets armed with a fluffy pillow. I have personally not seen anyone do this. It doesn’t mean I can’t use my bamboo pillow and charge an attack among my family members. It’s does a world of good to break the daily routine with some fun shenanigans.
Pillows evoke comfort and relaxation. When you find the right pillow, it provides support and a good night sleep. The pillow dates back to around 7,000 BC in Mesopotamia. Back then, pillows were made of stone. They were for support, not comfort. The pillows were originally created to prevent insects from crawling into mouths, noses or ears. Anyone else just shivered at the thought?
In ancient Egypt they believed the head to be the seat of the spiritual life. Pillows were made of different material, but they were just as hard as in Mesopotamia. They were made of marble, ivory, ceramic, stone or wood. The pillows were carved with images of gods to keep bad spirits away.
In ancient China, it was very similar to Egypt. Instead of gods, the images were of humans, animals and plants. They believed that the material used could have different health benefits for the one who used the pillow. They used stone, wood, bamboo, bronze, porcelain and jade. Jade was said to increase the user’s intelligence. I find this incredibly fascinating.
It was the ancient Greeks and Romans that left behind the hard pillows opting for softer material such as cloth filled with cotton, reeds or straw. Wealthier patrons could afford pillows made of feathers. My husband’s pillow is made of feathers. I personally prefer bamboo.
In European Middle Ages, we took a step back. King Henry VIII banned soft pillows for everyone except pregnant women. The reason was that soft pillows had to be replaced often due to vermin and mold issues. Gross and extremely unhealthy.