The Welsh language derives from Celtic times, when Celtic people migrated westward to an area known today as Wales. The survival of the Welsh language is a testimony to the pride of the Welsh nation; a pride so strong that it carries many other traditional customs with it to the present day. One such custom is the giving and receiving of the Welsh Lovespoon: a tradition with more than 350 years of Welsh heritage. Throughout Welsh history, the reasons behind offering a lovespoon to an individual has evolved, although the use of a lovespoon as a depiction of love and happiness has remained constant.
According to Welsh folklore, the lovespoon was traditionally carved out of a single block of wood by young men, who then presented it to their sweetheart as a token of their affection. The symbols that the men would carve into the wood would represent their intentions for the relationship and display the precise feelings that they had for their partner. The lovespoon was therefore regarded as a symbolic piece of art, that would depict men’s skill and emotion.
Over time, the gesture of giving a lovespoon began to shift from a token of a man’s love for his sweetheart, to a gesture of love or friendship between all. They are now given to commemorate engagements, weddings, anniversaries, christenings, and birthdays, as Christmas gifts or simply as a souvenir from Wales. It has become common for people to collect Welsh lovespoons and hang them decoratively on their walls: each one marking a significant moment in the person’s life.
Whilst presenting a lovespoon to someone has altered in meaning, the symbolic nature of the engravings that are used to express specific feelings has remained the same. Different carvings are used to represent different stages in a person’s life, or different types of love felt by the presenter. An angel for example represents protection, whereas Celtic knotwork represents eternal, everlasting love.
At Angel Woodcraft we create high-quality, beautifully hand-crafted Welsh lovespoons for every occasion. Visit our online store for a full selection of lovespoons in a range of sizes and colours. You can even have your lovespoon engraved for an even more personal touch! www.angelwoodcraft.co.uk