Hand fans are an accessory used among all cultures from East to West. From Ancient Egypt, China, Japan, and from England to Spain.
The hand fan reached the heights of it’s splendor in nineteenth century Europe, particularly in Spain. The first hand fan in Spain dates from 1802 in Valencia and quickly became a must have among upper class women. Fans were hand crafted and hand painted with the most delicate motifs depicted on the garment.
The hand fan is not just decoration, it is a trade mark of Spain, and it became part of Spanish culture, and of course, a cheap way to keep cool in the heat.
The following are the secret language of the Spanish "Abanico"
- Open fan over the chest showing the design “Yes”
- Open fan over the chest showing the back “No”
- Open fan covering one of the cheeks “I like you”
- Wave fan very fast: “I really like you”
- Wave fan very slowly: “I am not interested”
- Open fan covering your nose “I want to see you”
- Open fan covering your chin “I want to talk to you”
- Closed fan near the heart: “I love you”
- Open fan placed over lips: “Kiss me”
- Close fan waving; “I am thinking about it”
- Hit close fan against hand “Leave me alone”
- Open and close the fan: “I am upset”
- Open fan waving energetically on one side “Don´t come now, other people around”