We’re big fans of Alexandra Potter, so naturally we were thrilled to hear that not only does she have a new book out, but it’s the start of a series!
In The Love Detective, romantic novelist Ruby Miller finds herself in India at the height of wedding season. After a bad break-up, she’s lost her faith in love – and her ability to write about it too – but she soon finds that India’s rich traditions of love and marriage are the perfect source of inspiration…
To celebrate the publication of The Love Detective, the lovely Alexandra has written this piece about cultural traditions of love around the world especially for the Tesco Books blog…
‘Love is what makes the world goes round. As a currency it’s universal. But travel the globe and you’ll find many different traditions and fascinating customs.
A commonly known one, is of course, Valentine’s Day. Everyone knows this is the day to exchange cards and gifts with your loved one, but did you know that in Japan, February 14th is all about spoiling your man? However, fear not, ladies, you get your turn a month later, on March 14th. Commonly known as ‘White Day’, on this day it’s customary for men to reciprocate their feelings by presenting their loved one with a gift.
In Italy there is an abundance of love traditions. From the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, underneath which a kiss at sunset on a gondola will guarantee everlasting love, to Romeo and Juliet’s balcony in Verona, where modern-day lovers can recreate the famous scene (but not the famous ending!), this country is renowned for its love affair with love.
One lesser-known love legend however, belongs to the ‘Fontanina degli innamorati’, a name which literally translates as the Lovers’ Fountain. During the First and Second World Wars, couples would pay a visit to this fountain in Rome before a soldier left for battle. The signorina would fill a glass with the waters which her lover would drink. The glass would then be broken to symbolise their love which, unlike the glass, could never be broken.
This romantic ritual is still repeated today by many lovers who have to be parted… in the hope that the magic of the fountain will reunite them again.
Not to be outdone by the Italians, the French also have their unique cultural traditions when it comes to affairs of the heart. Though while some traditions go back hundreds of years, others are much more modern.
One such tradition began in 2008 when padlocks began appearing on a bridge in Paris. This ritual began on the Pont des Arts and has extended to the Pont de l’Archevêché near the Notre Dame. Walk across these two bridges and you’ll see a shimmering mass of padlocks bearing lovers’ initials and engravings.
This ‘love lock’ tradition originated in the nineteenth century in Hungary and has spread worldwide, due to the legend that if you put a lock on the bridge and throw the keys into the river, your love will last forever.
In Russia, this tradition has changed slightly and in Moscow, metal trees have been installed next to Luzhkov Bridge, where newlyweds gather to place a lock on the branches and seal their love.
So wherever you are in the world, when it comes to love, you will be sure to find a fascinating custom or unique ritual. Because love, actually, is all around.’
Pick up your copy of The Love Detective by Alexandra Potter in store now!