Love Padlocks a Lover's Tradition: Lock Your Love for Eternity and Throw Way the Key
When traveling through Eastern Europe I came across an interesting and sentimental tradition, along the railing of several bridges there had been attached hundreds of padlocks. The padlocks which were attached to the bridge railings had all been inscribed with variations on a theme – love. Some of the inscriptions included: "Sam and Jane forever", "A+L 1998", "Harry loves Mandy" and a number of heart and love symbols.
After asking some of the locals what all this meant I was told that these padlocks all represent couples in love and they are called Love Locks. A couple takes a padlock and gets it engraved with their names, date they met, married or the date they attached the padlock to the bridge, heart shapes and in some cases small poems. Then the couple goes to the bridge, which has a pedestrian walkway or path, and attaches the padlock to the bridge railing. To seal the deal and signify that their souls are eternally locked together the couple then throws the padlock key over the edge of the bridge into the river. Symbolically the couple has joined together forever and thrown away the key so that their love will never end just as the padlock will never be opened.
These love padlocks also exist in 28 countries including the USA, Australia and European countries, China, Uruguay and New Zealand. Although the best railings to use are those of a bridge over flowing water as then you can really through away the key, these love padlocks can also be seen on other railings in parks and even city centers. In China the love padlocks are attached to the railings on Mount Huang and the keys then tossed into the valley below. Even on the famous Tower Bridge in London, England love padlocks can be seen.
In some cities the authorities have attempted to remove the love padlocks but public protest has prevented their removal. Other cities have put up metal fences with the express purpose of offering an alternative to the bridge railing locks. It is nice to know that somewhere in the municipal bureaucracy of these cities there are people with a heart who are touched by the tradition and turn a blind eye to the love padlocks.
Travelers have also taken up the tradition and started locking their love together in each country they visit. Imagine knowing that a padlock bearing your name and your lover's name exists on bridges across several nations of the world! Why not surprise your loved one and have a love padlock engraved with your names then take them off to your nearest bridge with a bottle of champagne to celebrate your love. You can even buy a love Lock online not only for your lover but your pet as well!