Cymraeg, the Welsh language, is part of the Celtic family of languages and remained with the Celtic people who settled in what is now known as Wales. The fact that the Welsh language is still spoken today is testimony to the pride of the Welsh nation.
The Welsh have kept hold of many old traditions and customs, such as speaking Cymraeg, and the giving of love spoons as gifts of love for birthdays, weddings and anniversaries.
The art of carving Welsh love spoons dates back to the 17th-century, where men would spend hours decoratively carving the handle of a wooden spoon, before presenting it to the object of their affections as a token of love and affection.
There has been much debate on the significance of the different symbols and motifs used in the carving of love spoons. One suggestion is that the symbols were used to express the true feelings of the carver, who were likely to be young and shy and unwilling to express their emotions otherwise.
Over the centuries, many more symbols and motifs have been added and as the love spoons became more elaborate and decorative, they have become collectables. Here are some of the symbols, and their meanings.
- Bell – Weddings or Anniversaries or Together in Harmony.
- Ball in a cage – Love held safe or the number of children one wishes to have.
- Birds – Love birds or Let’s go away together. Stork represents a new birth.
- Chain – Signifies loyalty and faithfulness. A wish to be together forever. Can also signify the number of children one wishes.
- Cross – A wish to have faith in Jesus Christ or a wish for God to bless.
- Diamond – Wealth or Good fortune.
- Heart – This is one of the most common patterns. One heart signifies that the girl/boy has taken hold of the young man/woman’s heart, and two hearts on the same spoon means that love is reciprocated.
- Horseshoe – A symbol of Good luck and Good fortune.
- Key/keyhole – Security or I shall look after you. The partner holds the key to his/her heart or home.
- Celtic knot – Eternal love or Together forever or Everlasting.
- Lock – Security or, I shall look after you
- Twisted stem – Two lives become as one, or, Togetherness.
- Dragon – Protection or Symbol of Wales.
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