Greetings from Tallinn, Estonia. I am here to do research for a writing project on which I am working. Tallinn is an amazing city with a wonderful sense of history. In fact, it is the official Capital of Culture for all of Europe for 2011.
For my wife and me, yesterday was our wedding anniversary. So it was very appropriate that we visited a park that just outside of Tallinn, Keila-Joa. A short walk into the park there is a scenic waterfall. (Joa means “falls” in Estonian). It was beautiful.
On the way to see the falls we crossed over two old bridges. The locals call them the “lock bridges.” There are hundreds of locks on the bridges. Locks of all types and sizes. Big and small, inexpensive and elaborate, old and new locks. All of them permanently locked onto the bridge.
The locks are there because, prior to their wedding day, people in the area purchase a lock and have it engraved with their names and wedding date. Then, on the actual day, they go to the park and lock it onto the bridge. The point is to represent the permanence of their marriage.
What a great symbolic custom. My wife and I agreed that we would have done that thirty-three years ago if we had thought of it.