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National Pink Day is observed annually on June 23rd. This day is set aside for the color pink and all it represents. First used as a color name in the late 17th century, pink is a pale red color which got its name from a flower of the same name.

Dianthus caryophyllus L (Clove pink)

According to surveys in both the United States and Europe with results indicating that the color pink combined with white or pale blue is most commonly associated with femininity, sensitivity, tenderness, childhood and the romantic. Pink, when combined with violet or black is associated with eroticism and seduction.

A knight in red receiving a helmet from a damsel in pink, from an English manuscript of The Romance of Alexander (1338-1344).

Dating back to the 14th century, "to pink" (the verb) means "to decorate with a perforated or punched pattern." It would have been curious to find pink used in fabric or decor during the Middle Ages. Occassionally, it was seen in women's fashion and religious art. In the 13th and 14th century, the Christ child was sometimes portrayed dressed in pink, the color associated with the body of Christ. Pink was mainly used for the flesh color of faces and hands during the Renaissance.

Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of Louis XV of France, made pink and blue the leading fashion colors in the Court of Versailles. She had a special pink tint created for her by the Sevres porcelain factory. This portrait by Maurice Quentin de la Tour was painted between 1748 and 1755.

The Rococo Period (1720 - 1777) was the golden age for the color pink. Pastel colors became very fashionable in all the courts of Europe during this time. Madame de Pompadour (1721 - 1764), the mistress of King Louis XV of France, was known for wearing the color pink, often combined with light blue. At one point in time, Ms. Pompadour had a particular tint of pink made specifically for her.

Pink ribbons or decorations were worn by young boys in 19th century England. The men in England wore red uniforms and since boys were considered small men, boys wore pink.

Shocking pink was a new and more assertive pink invented by Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli in 1931, by mixing a little white with magenta. It became her signature color.

Pink became much bolder, brighter and more assertive in the 20th century and 1931, the color "Shocking Pink" was introduced. The pioneer in the creation of the new wave pinks was the Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli (1890 - 1973) who was aligned with the artists of the surrealist movement, including Jean Cocteau. Elsa created this new variety of color by mixing magenta with a small amount of white. 

The transition to pink as a sexually differentiating color for girls occurred gradually, through the selective process of the marketplace, in the 1930s and 40s. In the 1920s, some groups had been describing pink as a masculine color, an equivalent of the red that was considered to be for men, but lighter for boys. However, stores found that people were increasingly choosing to buy pink for girls, and blue for boys, until this became an accepted norm in the 1940s.

Here are some interesting references to pink:

  • In the pink - To be in top form, in good health, in good condition.

  • To see pink elephants - To hallucinate from alcoholism.

  • Pink slip - To be given a pink slip means to be fired or dismissed from a job. First recorded in 1915 in the United States.

  • Pink-collar worker - Persons working in jobs conventionally regarded as "women's work".

  • Pink money - The pink pound or pink dollar is an economic term which refers to the spending power of the LGBT community.

  • Tickled pink - Means to be extremely pleased.

Ways you can observe National Pink Day:

The most apparent way to celebrate is to wear pink. Enjoy foods and beverages that are pink. Give a donation to any of the charities that use the color pink. Use #NationalPinkDay in social media. Unfortunately, within our research, we were unable to find the creator and origin of National Pink Day.

Source: National Day Calendar™ and Wikipedia

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