13 Jan Free Date Night: Love Lock Hike
The History of Love Locks
Throughout the ages, lovers have looked for ways to prove to the world that theirs is true love capable of lasting for eternity. From poetry to romantic serenades, from inscribing hearts on school desks to carving initials on a tree, different traditions have cropped up as couples looked for a way to show their love and commitment! One such tradition can now be found in lovelocks… padlocks which sweethearts lock to a bridge, fence, gate, or similar public fixture to symbolize their love. Traditionally the sweethearts’ names or initials have been written or engraved on the padlock and the key thrown away as the lock is attached symbolising unbreakable love.
It is widely believed that this tradition has long been an established custom but debate exists on how this tradition became widely known. One tale has the inspiration for modern lovelocks as an ancient Chinese custom where lovers locked a padlock on a chain or gate then threw away the key, locking their love forever. Another has the legend beginning over 100 years ago in Serbia during World War I in the village of Vrnjačka Banja. According to the story, a local school teacher fell in love with an army officer who was sent to war in Greece where he then fell in love with a local woman on the island of Corfu. The young schoolteacher never recovered from her heartbreak….this story soon become folklore and dozens of young romantics began to look for ways to protect their love settling on writing down names on padlocks and affixing these on to the railing of the bridge where the schoolteacher and army officer used to meet.
Sadly for this romantic tradition, the rapid increase in popularity for these lovelocks since the 2000s, have led to a distaste for the locks by residents of the cities where the locks are appearing in their dozens! At the most popular sites, thousands of lovelocks appear each year with traditional locks weighing down historic structures causing damage to appear….with the tossed keys cluttering up riverbeds … But fear not! Romance is still alive! Luckily for this romantic tradition, many cities and destinations have developed pieces of public art and sculptures especially designed to which couples can attach their lovelocks!
Make it a Love Lock Date Night
In the United States, Love Locks are a pretty unique find. Here is an interactive map of sanctioned (and some unsanctioned) places you can add your own lock. Many cities have embraced the love lock, and erected structures for couples to secure their locks. Why not find your own special place to secure your love lock? There is no need to find a bridge, or a public place. Think of your love lock like hand prints in the cement. Remember when your dad poured that concrete slab and you initialed it, or your Mom marked your height on the kitchen doorway? This is very much the same. You can secure your lock somewhere simple, like in your back yard, or on your favorite bird feeder. Secure it somewhere that is special to you as a couple. The most important part is to throw away they key, so the lock remains forever.
You can easily purchase a lock from Amazon, or your local hardware store and decorate it together. A simple initials with a sharpie is totally acceptable. Or you can purchase something fancier – either way it’s a great date night. This is a inexpensive, and super romantic Valentines Day date night for you both.