The giving and receiving of lovespoons between lovers, friends and family is a Welsh custom that dates back to the 17th century.
Traditionally a lovespoon was made from wooden and carved by a young man. He presented the lovespoon to the woman he loved as a token of his affection.
The earliest surviving Welsh lovespoon dates back to 1667 and is kept at St Fagans Museum of Welsh life, but the custom was widespread before that date.
Today lovespoons are popular. They are used to celebrate many occasions such as births, christenings, weddings, anniversaries and retirement. A lovespoon is a great way to celebrate St Dwynwen's Day.
Visitors to Wales often take home a lovespoon with them to have something uniquely Welsh to remind them of their visit.
A lovespoon is usually decorated with certain symbols, with each symbol having certain significance and meaning.
Symbols and meanings
There are many symbols are meanings. Here are some of them:
Bell – weddings, anniversaries
Ball(s) in cage – number of children
Cross – faith
Diamond – wealth, good fortune
Heart – Love
Horseshoe – good luck
Key/Keyhole – security, home
Knot/Celtic knotwork – everlasting, together forever
Dragon – Protection, symbol of Wales
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- Lovespoons - Museum guide
Find out more about Welsh lovespoons