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It’s almost Valentine’s Day, which seems the perfect time to mention the wonderful embroidered handkerchiefs of northern Portugal. You can find them, or products inspired by them, in most souvenir shops in Portugal but they used to serve a practical purpose in the romantic lives of people from the Minho. Much like a traditional valentine, these handkerchiefs were made to ask “will you be mine?” although they could be sent at any time of the year, not just on Valentine’s Day.
Once a girl reached marriageable age and had set her sights on a young man, she would embroider a handkerchief of love especially for him.
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