My A to Z Blogging Challenge

Alphabetical inspiration and motivation for bloggers

H is for Handkerchiefs of Love; a Romantic Portuguese Tradition

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.

Translation: The axe cuts firewood easily but no axe in the world can cut our friendship

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.

To find out what happened next or leave a comment, continue reading here.

About Julie Dawn Fox

I'm Julie, a British expat in Portugal with a passion for travel, writing and photography. My blog, Julie Dawn Fox in Portugal, is a way of sharing what I learn about the food, art, culture and unusual highlights of Portugal. You'll find honest opinions, helpful tips and ideas for travelling and living in Portugal. If you need a native English speaker to help you create or translate content for your website, articles or other documents, please email me or visit

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This entry was posted on February 13, 2012 by in Countries, Crafts, Culture, H is for..., History, Portugal, Relationships and tagged , , , , .

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