Happy NEW YEAR GIFTS to wish LUCK HEALTH and HAPPINESS

New Years eve gift

Going to a New Years Eve party? Friend making a New Year’s resolution? Someone starting a new adventure (a new business perhaps, or a New Beginning)? We have some of the best New Year gift ideas . . especially lucky charms and jewellery to wish luck and success in the coming year

See our shop for  GIFTS for LUCK in NEW YEAR, NEW JOB, NEW START  . .

New Year is a great time to give gifts of goodwill, warm wishes and well meaning to friends for the future. After the hubbub of Christmas with its family brouhaha and relationship complexities, New Years is about looking forward with hope and good intent. Some people, after 12 months of difficulties and disappointments are hoping for better fortunes in the coming year: Even for someone who has had a spectacularly good year, things can always get better! and this is the time of year to pass on your New Year wishes and help make good New Year resolutions come true, and wish them good luck for any New Beginnings.

New Beginnings or a New Start at New Year

New Year is a time for new beginnings and many people welcome the chance to start afresh and leave the past in the past: The New Start or New Beginning could be a new job, a new relationship, a new house / home or a first day in a new environment. Wishing someone luck with New Year lucky charm jewellery, for example, makes the best New Year’s gift. Youngsters or children could be going back to college or University to sit their final exams and need a little boost to their confidence.

SEE some  LUCKY JEWELLERY for a NEW JOB or NEW START  in our online shop

New Year gift ideas?!

But, as so excellently portrayed in the DailyMeal website, New Year is not only a time for new beginnings, but also a time for old traditions to encourage good fortune in the year to come: For example, at New Year in Estonia, some people leave part of their meal unfinished for the spirits of their ancestors who are said to visit the house on New Years Eve.

New year celebrations 2020
Happy New Year!

On New Year’s Eve in Brazil, many people dress in white (said to keep away evil spirits) and jump over seven waves on the Copacabana beach, offering flowers and a wish to the goddess Lemanja while making seven wishes for the coming year. In the Netherlands, eating doughnut-like pastries that are filled with apples and currants is said to be lucky on New Years Day. In Sweden they serve rice pudding with an almond hidden inside and whoever finds the almond is said to receive good fortune throughout the coming year . . a bit like the Mexican “Rosca de Reyes” which is baked with a coin or charm inside (often depicting baby Jesus) for good luck. The Danes and the Germans eat fish (especially herring) on New Year’s Eve because their folklore says that it will ensure good luck. In Denmark, they also throw dishes on friends’ doorsteps which is said to show how much they value them as friends! And the Germans, like the Austrians, eat marzipan pigs for good fortune on New Year’s Eve.

Of course the English and Scottish have great traditions too: In 13th Century England, handsels were given as good luck charms when someone started a new job or at a new time in their life . . and particularly at New Year. It was recognised that this new start in someone’s life often needed some special help – and a good luck gift for a new job was thought ideal. The Scots in particular take part in “first footing” on New Year’s Day, bringing gifts of shortbread and whisky to a neighbour’s house.

SEE some  HOUSE and OFFICE GIFTS for a NEW JOB or NEW START  in our online shop

New Year’s Day marks the Festival of Saint Basil in Greece, where children leave their shoes out to be filled with gifts. St. Basil’s bread is baked with small trinkets inside, bringing luck to those who find them. Also as a symbol of birth and regrowth in the New Year, an onion can be hung on the front door of one’s home – alongside the Christmas pomegranate.

Good New Year resolutions?!

Italians hang mistletoe over the front door to bring good luck . . and eat lentils for prosperity. Women in Mexico wear red underwear if they wish to marry in the New Year, and pink is worn by pregnant women to bring luck to the baby. Those hoping to travel, carry an empty suitcase around the block! Many people in Spain and Latin countries eat 12 grapes as a bell is rung 12 times at midnight. Each grape represents a month of the year. By eating them at midnight each participant hopes to have happiness and luck for the next 12 months. And in Russia, people write a wish on paper, burn it, and then add the ashes to a glass of Champagne, and drink it immediately before midnight.

In many of these countries, there is a strong Catholic tradition or belief and holiday celebrations go on until Epiphany on January 6, and the whole fortnight from Christmas is dedicated to making wishes, giving blessings and engaging in soothsaying about luck and prosperity in the New Year. The symbols of Spain’s Camino de Santiago (the 1,000-year-old pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela – also known as the Way of St. James), also make great New Year gifts (for example, to wish good luck on a new adventure):

Camino bracelet for joy on the journey
Click for Camino de Santiago jewellery

It is worth pointing out however, that not all New Year celebrations take place on 1st January. The Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah and it takes place in early Autumn. People eat apples and honey for a lucky year to come. The Chinese New Year is in February because they follow the lunar calendar . . but they still indulge themselves with lucky foods: Noodles, symbolising a long life, and dumplings which resemble gold nuggets.

The best New Year gift ideas?

Butterflies or rather, butterfly symbols (like the ever-popular tattoo, for example) are often used by people embarking on a change . . such as the new life that the New Year can symbolically bring. People are also asked to accept changes in their life . . just like the butterfly when it transforms itself from a little caterpillar. Butterflies can be symbolic of faith too, allowing the wind to carry us (and them) forward to our new goals and dreams. *  BUTTERFLY CHARM JEWELLERY  makes a great New Year gift for a friend’s new start in life . . their new beginning with new resolutions. This can be particularly true with teenagers moving into adulthood . . a symbol of letting go of old cycles and of finding a true inner self – expanding awareness, spreading one’s wings and moving forward to find their own place in life. Butterfly charm jewellery therefore makes the perfect gift for a friend’s new start in life . . their new beginning.

Another symbol of ‘reincarnation’ especially poignant at New Year, is the  TAU  Cross (also available in our shop with Jet / Azabache inlays): This can be gifted as a means of encouraging friends to have patience and acceptance, as they await their new start, their new beginning . . encouraging them to accept the things of the past – but also encouraging them to move on to a new life – to start a new adventure: A nice option for a New Years gift.

And then there is the  ANCHOR  symbol . . particularly for those who are having difficulties in life, the anchor can imply a self promise: To take stock, settle down and plan for a stable future – a symbol of hope with a fresh start. For those who are about to embark on something new and challenging, they can move forward to a new place in their life, make a new start, a new beginning – planting new roots and finding a better life – coupled with the hope for new stability and security . . with the confidence, self-assuredness, and trust in their ability to survive and succeed.

And of course, the ubiquitous lucky  HORSESHOE  is always a good bet. Or perhaps we should just do as the Danes do . . and break a few plates on our neighbour’s doorstep!

See some  ACCESSORIES to WISH LUCK in a NEW JOB or a NEW START . . or for a New Year  in our shop online

Make a resolution to send a happy New Year lucky charm gift for health and happiness this year: New business? New adventure? Get-well gift? Send warm wishes to someone for good luck in their new challenge, new start or new beginning.

 

Why GIFT a good LUCK symbol IN GOLD?

Spanish gold jewellery

Compelling reasons to give one of our SYMBOLIC gold gifts to wish good luck

Gold is said to be perfection and eternity. It is extravagant and it has worth. Gold is also light, life, radiance and health. Gold is power. Gold signifies achievement and triumph: It is the colour of a winner. It has prestige.

Gold gifts

So, why NOT gift a present made out of gold? Especially gold jewellery that has symbolic significance. Hint: Usually, it is because of the price! But not all gold is expensive. For example, please take a look at some of our gold jewellery pieces from Spain that could be suitable as a gift to wish good fortune to a friend or loved-one . . we have the more expensive 18k gold – but also the less expensive gold-FILLED pieces.

Gold jewellery: Necklaces, earrings and bracelets

You can see them here in the  GOLD JEWELLERY  section of our online store:

What is Gold-Filled? Is Gold-Filled the same as Gold-Plated / Vermeil?

No, it is much better: Gold-Filled is a layer of solid gold, pressure-bonded into another metal (in our case 925 sterling silver). Whereas Gold-Plating is a very thin layer of gold that is ‘plated’ onto the surface of a variety of other metals. (Vermeil just means that the plated item is made of silver: Nothing more; it is still just Gold-Plated.) So, Gold-Filled has a much higher value than simple Gold-Plating or Vermeil because it contains a much greater quantity of gold; and is of higher quality because of the way that gold is included: Once termed “Rolled-Gold” it has a long history – although the modern process wasn’t patented until Victorian times in England. It is much more precious and tarnish-resistant than Gold-Plated / Vermeil: It does not rub off or flake or change colour. BUT, it is not pure gold, and so is less-costly than say 18 carat gold.

Historically, gold was said to be “divine” – and it has been indicative or symbolic of the journey of the soul into spirituality and deep understanding. It has been called the gift of the Magi and ancient cultures believed that it worked magic on the recipient: It could do whatever you asked of it. So, in that sense alone, a gift of gold is a present with true meaning or significance. Gold jewellery is (and always will be) something really special.

SEE our SHOP  for  GOLD JEWELLERY  and other symbolic jewellery pieces to pass on your best wishes to a friend or loved-one

8 compelling reasons to give one of our SYMBOLIC gold gifts to wish a friend or loved-one good fortune:

– Everyone knows that gold is very special (although our online shop also stocks beautiful silver pieces too!)

– Some of the gold jewellery necklaces, pendants, earrings and bracelets are limited and rare pieces that can no longer be sourced

– They all have real significance

– Many are intricately-crafted by hand in the workshops of Galicia, Asturias, Córdoba, and Almería in Spain

– Many feature Spain’s renowned symbol of good luck and protection, the Indalo

– Others focus on the symbols of El Camino de Santiago

– They are all timeless treasures

– Any single one would add a sophisticated and radiant shine to any outfit

SEE our SHOP  for  GOLD JEWELLERY  and other symbolic jewellery pieces to pass on your best wishes to a friend or loved-one

Yes, gold is sophistication; it is elegance and status.

Gold gifts for her – and him

It is said that gold represents the masculine energy that comes from the sun (as opposed to the feminine energy and sensitivity of the silver moon). Gold lights up and enhances everything around it – it attracts attention. Yes . . gold jewellery as a gift, is still something really special . . a gift of gold is not something ‘cheap’. If you can, just for the moment, forget the cost and think more about the value.

Gold gifts for 50th wedding anniversary

Golden jewellery is for love and commitment too: It is the symbol of the 50th wedding anniversary.

But overall, gold jewellery is (and always will be) something really special. It makes jewellery with meaning and a present from the heart for the one you love.

Gold jewellery is, and always will be, something special. Our gold jewellery from Spain could be suitable as a unique gift to pass on best wishes to a friend or loved-one

 

TRAVEL JEWELLERY – wish travel-lovers safe journey and luck

Travel jewellery bracelet girl

Jewellery for travel lovers – is there such a thing? Travel-inspired jewellery? Wanderlust jewellery? Safe travel jewellery, like a safe travel necklace, for example, and jewellery to wish a safe journey is common these days. Why? What makes the best travel jewellery gift? Read on:

Travel talismans and amulets have existed for centuries – the most popular Western figurehead of travel probably being St Christopher, often depicted on safe travel necklaces and bracelets. But other talismans for safe travel feature Runes, lucky Gemstones and Crystals, Compasses and World charms – even depictions of Noah, mankind’s original travel icon, fleeing danger in his Ark.

Noah had a travel talisman
Noah had a travel talisman on his Ark

See our Good Luck Gift shop for  JEWELLERY to WISH LUCK / SAFETY on a TRIP  . .

But apart from St Christopher, how much travel inspired jewellery features or depicts something with provenance that people have put their faith in for centuries? For example, simple Latin crosses; other Christian Saints like St Michael, St Benedict or indeed, the Camino cross of Saint James (or its associated Scallop shell way-marker symbol often seen along the Camino de Santiago (Way of St James)). And we mustn’t forget the children’s favourite, the ever-present Guardian Angel.

Much folklore, legend and superstition surrounds travel jewellery: Safe travel charms are as old as Noah’s Ark itself. Some are even USEFUL when travelling: Noah is said to have hung a huge crystal of garnet on the bowsprit of his Ark to light the way ahead and deliver him and his crew to safety from the Great Flood.

(See some  SAFE TRAVEL GIFTS / JEWELLERY  in our online store.)

Our Travellers Cross Whistle makes a great travel necklace gift for a friend or loved-one going on a journey (or a Gap Year, for example) because it combines the symbol of the cross of St James (or the scallop shell) engraved onto the silver) combined with an actual safety whistle that can be sounded in an emergency by blowing. We have a small selection in our shop which would make an ideal gift for someone travelling.

Apart from a travel necklace adorned with safe travel charms (or well-known and respected protection charms like St Christopher, St Michael, or a Guardian Angel for example), travel jewellery rings are also common as gifts when someone is going away on a journey . . to wish them well and a speedy and safe return home.

The best jewellery for travel and for travel-lovers has both meaning and gravitas, i.e. it has REAL significance: That is to say, in addition to any value that the travel charm symbol has in itself, or the religious faith that it might represent, it can also act as a reminder to be careful when travelling: And this can be a powerful aid to staying safe whilst away from home.

See some GOLD and SILVER NECKLACES for LUCK and SAFEKEEPING  in our shop

In Spain they have the lucky Indalo as a protector from harm; In Western Asia and parts of Europe, Africa and Latin America they have the Evil Eye; In the Middle East and North Africa they have the Hamsa – also known as the Hand of Fatima to Jews; and so on. The list is long, so the important thing is to find something that the recipient of a travel jewellery gift actually BELIEVES in . . something in which they can trust.

And remember, a travel talisman is said to bring good luck, whereas a travel amulet is intended to ward off evil or bad luck when on a trip.

See some  BRACELETS gifted to PROTECT  in our Good Luck Gift Shop

In the 21st Century, we are still superstitious about good luck, bad luck and misfortune: We are as mindful of luck and good fortune today, as our ancestors were hundreds (even thousands) of year ago. Indeed, so many people avoid the number 13, for example, that it is often absent from the floor of a hotel or the seat number on an aeroplane. The tradition of touching wood (or ‘knocking on wood’) dates back thousands of years . . and yet we still do it.

Wanderlust jewellery with a “good luck’ and “safe travel” meaning is as popular today as it was 500 years ago – perhaps more so. The St Christopher charm as a piece of safe travel jewellery is a very common gift – on travel necklaces, travel bracelets and other travel inspired jewellery, as is the Camino bracelet with the Scallop Shell talisman.

We have lots of of safe travels bracelets, necklaces, charms and other jewellery – and, if your friend of loved-one is thinking of going on the Camino de Santiago in France/Portugal/Spain, we sell a lot of travel memory necklaces related to the Way of St James – and life’s camino in general.

See our Good Luck Gift Shop for  EARRINGS for LUCK and SAFEKEEPING  travelling on a journey

So, in conclusion, what travel jewellery gifts are best? Nothing too expensive (because they’re travelling!); Nothing too cheap or tacky (it’s a gift, right!); And something with REAL meaning; Something that will last.

We think that we have found the perfect offering in our online Good Luck Gift shop enabling everyone to find something suitable for their friend, loved-one or work colleague who is going away on a journey – to wish them luck and safety along the way.

Travel whistle silver chain
Travel whistle on a silver chain, engraved with the Travellers Cross

For example, our unique safe travel necklace featuring a Travellers Cross whistle marked up with the Cross of Saint James (which is a great symbol for travellers) or la Vieira Concha – the Scallop shell symbol of El Camino de Santiago (possibly the greatest journey in the world). Yes, we really do offer the best jewellery for travel – meaningful, practical, prestigious and affordable . . great necklaces for travel lovers, bracelets for someone’s special camino . . a travel talisman with real significance – travel jewellery WITH MEANING.

See our shop for Travellers Cross Whistle: Safe travel jewellery with a practical use: If you get into difficulty, you can blow the whistle.

 

LUCKY GIFTS

Gift for good luck

Did you know that over a third of people believe in luck (according to a YouGov survey) and a similar number consider that “touching wood” or “knocking on wood” will avoid bad luck?

Amongst sportsmen and women, this figure is much higher – especially on the big day of an event, competition, match or test / exam.

See Lucky Gifts for a special event or occasion in our ♥ Good Luck Gift Shop store   online

If YOU are looking for a lucky gift . . you are not alone! At any one time, up to 30% of shoppers are looking to buy a gift (£1bn+ in sales, in the UK alone) and of those, 10% are shopping to buy a “good luck gift” – that’s a lot of good luck sentiment looking to buy something to pass on wishes of good fortune to a friend or loved-one in their latest venture, event or occasion.

Lucky elephant necklace

Many politicians, actors and sports people in particular like to carry a lucky charm, talisman or amulet, or keep one in their car, house or office. But they are not the only people who believe in good luck symbols and charms: Millions of us like to put our trust in little good luck talismans to attract good fortune (or amulets to ward off bad luck). It’s probably all down to superstition: For example, so many people avoid the number 13 in the Western hemisphere, that it is often absent from the floor of a hotel or the seat number on a plane.

The truth is, that behind many of our beliefs, there is a long history of superstition to which many people feel compelled to adhere. For example, the tradition of touching wood for good luck, dates back thousands of years when trees and Mother Nature were perceived as having a special connection. Even these days, there are few people who will openly tempt fate. This is because they sub-consciously believe that Fate is lurking out there somewhere, and they don’t want to attract her wrath.

Carmina_Burana_wheel_of_fortune
The wheel of fortune – an ancient belief

In Greek and Roman Mythology, Fate was in fact THREE goddesses who presided over the birth, and life of humans. Each person’s destiny was depicted as a thread – spun, measured, and finally cut by the three Fates: Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. On the other hand, Lady Luck is said to be the personification of GOOD luck, a version of Fortuna (or the Greek goddess Tyche) who was the goddess of fortune and the embodiment of luck in Roman culture. Fortuna is often depicted holding a ship’s rudder, a Rota Fortunae (wheel of fortune, first mentioned by Cicero) and a Cornucopia (horn of plenty). However, even Fortuna represented life’s capriciousness and could bring good luck and bad in equal measure because she was also a goddess of fate.

Lucky gift Pig ceramic
Even the Pig is considered lucky in some cultures

So, over the centuries, the concept of luck has been important and even today millions of people genuinely believe that some sort of good luck charm will bring them good fortune and prosperity, and that it will keep misfortune at bay. In fact, it has been proved in scientific experiments that it is this BELIEF that makes them have good luck or bad.

The British Museum has a complete collection of lucky charms and talismans dating back centuries. Some of the most powerful people in the world have believed in good luck charms: President Roosevelt carried one in his jacket; Napoleon carried a lucky coin; and during his election campaign, Barack Obama carried an array of good luck charms in his pocket. Michael Jordan, the famous Chicago Bulls basketball star, spent his entire NBA career wearing his old University of North Carolina shorts under his team shorts – for good luck.

Lucky Indalo travel charm bracelet
Indalo mojo bracelet

Lucky gifts

So, yes, people like to have so-called ‘Lucky Charms’, and giving one to a friend or loved-one can be a smart idea because, overall, most people are mindful of Lady Luck and are often looking for ways to appease her. To make sure that your Lucky Gift goes down well, it would be wise to listen to the words of Tennessee Williams: “There’s real power in a thought made positive or concrete by a lucky charm”. Yes, lucky charm gifts really can help people’s dreams come true, and a gift for good luck that has real meaning will almost always be a success.

We have a great many good luck charms / symbols and LUCKY GIFTS in ♥ The Good Luck Gift Shop store . .

Our good luck gifts are based on ancient faiths, talismans, and symbols . . the sort that have helped people for many years. People have put their faith in these beliefs for centuries: And our gifts help people to have this belief. They have real provenance and derivation.

The simple lucky clover:

It is believed that the meaning of clovers pre-dates Christianity, going back to a time when clovers were used as Celtic charms. The Celts once extended across Ireland and into much of Western Europe and the Celtic priests, the Druids, considered them a sign of good luck, allegedly protecting against evil spirits and warding off evil / bad luck.

Lucky clover necklace

According to legend, the four leaves of a Lucky Clover represent hope, faith, love, and luck because, in Irish Christian tradition, the Shamrock (or 3-leaf clover) represented the Holy Trinity: one leaf for the Father, one for the Son and one for the Holy Spirit. When a Shamrock has a fourth leaf, it represents God’s Grace, and so encapsulates everything that a person could want.

The ubiquitous lucky horseshoe:

The Horseshoe is probably the most commonly recognised good luck symbol in the Western World. The combination of luck, protection, religion, and magic that is captivated by the Horseshoe symbol means that many people believe it will bring them good fortune – and help to ward off evil.

Lucky horseshoes jewelry

Man has long believed that the crescent-shape was a powerful protective talisman: For the Greeks, it symbolised the moon with links to Artemis and Diana. In olde England, St Dunstan nailed a horseshoe to a horse when working as a blacksmith. But the horse was actually the Devil in disguise and it caused the Devil great pain. St Dunstan only agreed to remove the shoe after the Devil promised never to enter a house with a horseshoe. And so, the symbol of protection arose.

Lucky gemstones:

For years, people have thought that certain gemstones have magical powers. e.g. Jade is supposed to promote longevity; Rose Quartz to attract love, and Carnelian is believed to bring courage.

Lucky Indalo and Amethyst gemstone charm bracelet

Back to Cleopatra and beyond, gemstone jewellery has been worn for their supposed magical powers . . to help protect people, bring them prosperity and good luck, as well as good health, longevity . . even love, and to help them to succeed. It has been scientifically proved that this belief brings people better fortune in their lives.

Religious symbols for good fortune

Many people believe that religious symbols can bring them good fortune. For example, on the famous Camino de Santiago across northern Spain it is common to see people carrying the Scallop Shell symbol – la concha de vieira . . an expression and reflection of their faith perhaps, but also for some, it has been give them as a lucky gift to wish “buen viaje” or “buen camino” or “good journey”.

Many also carry with them the cross of St James, the Travellers Cross – believed to promote faith and good fortune.

Lucky cross for travellers
Lucky cross for travellers?

Not all lucky gifts are the same. But one thing is certain: The gifts for good luck in our shop are designed to be just that: Gifts to pass on good fortune – items for the home or office that are genuinely believed to be lucky – possessing provenance and real, genuine character that really DOES mean something, and usually featuring symbols that people have put their faith in for many years.

Make sure that your lucky gift has real provenance / derivation. If it doesn’t, it’ll just be another meaningless gift to fill up the mantlepiece shelf.

Now that you know it’s best if a lucky gift has real meaning, you’re ready to find that ideal and magical gift for good luck that features in our shop

 

GIFTS for someone WALKING the CAMINO

What is it about gifting? Why do we gift? Why is gifting important? And why is Camino de Santiago jewellery often given as a present for someone walking El Camino?

You could say that we give gifts to each other because we’re supposed to, and this is often true – particularly on special well-known occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, and so on. And we also give people presents when someone has achieved something – as a form of recognition (eg, acknowledgement of an achievement, or goal attainment). So, for example, we could give a friend or loved-one a gift for having walked the Camino de Santiago because we are recognising something they have done or achieved – an accomplishment; or, because they are a fan of El Camino.

And we have a lot of gifts like that in our Good Luck Gift Shop store.

Camino gift
Camino gift for fan of El Camino

But, giving someone a gift because they are ABOUT to do something? Is this normal? (For example, giving a present to someone who WILL be walking the Camino in the future?) What does such a gift represent?

Camino de Santiago jewelry
Camino de Santiago jewellery

It is quite normal to wish someone well with their challenges and adventures – verbally, or perhaps with a quick WhatsAp message. But how often does this translate into a gift?

good luck gift

In our Good Luck Gift  Shop  we actually see this quite a lot, particularly with Camino gifts. We can tell, because people often include a short message with a gift when they buy it, and we ship the present direct to the recipient with the message as requested. These messages often refer to the meaning of the gift – whether as a piece of Camino de Santiago memorabilia or souvenir, or because the recipient is a fan of the Camino, or more often than not, as an inspirational piece of Santiago de Compostela jewelry because they are about to walk the Camino.

And we have a lot of Camino de Santiago jewellery too, in our online shop!

gift card for fan of camino
Gift card for fan of El Camino

So, Camino de Santiago jewelry is being gifted to someone walking the Camino in Spain, France or Portugal, as a way of offering encouragement, and willing them to succeed and have a successful journey, and a safe trip.

But, returning to the original question: Did you know that one of the main reasons for giving and receiving presents at Christmas time, is to remind us of the presents baby Jesus received from the three Wise Men: Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh? Yes, we all know that gifts are important at Christmas – but probably not for that reason nowadays!

There are of course many reasons for giving a gift. For example, we sometimes give people gifts to show them that we are grateful, and that we value the role they play in our lives. In this case, we give a present willingly without wanting anything in return: So, making someone feel special is as important a reason as any to bestow a gift.

And then there are Birthdays: As regards Birthdays (another of the traditional gifting occasions), history tells us that originally it had something to do with offering protection to the recipient.

People have always believed in good and evil spirits, and folklore has it that spirits gather around a person who is celebrating his or her birthday – dating back to the time when they were born. Years ago (and even nowadays in some parts of the world) everyone was afraid of these spirits, thinking that they would cause harm to the birthday boy or girl. And so, friends and relatives would gather around and wish them “Happy Birthday” so that their good wishes would protect them. In fact, in the UK, many years ago, when Britain was ruled by Rome, there was a God known as Apis (originally from Egypt and also pronounced as Hap-Hapi-Hapy), and it is believed that the word ‘happy’ in the birthday greeting Happy Birthday, dates back to this word ‘Hapi’ in Old English. For this reason, when you wish someone ‘happy’ birthday, you are actually wishing the God Apis to bring them protection and good fortune.

Gift for protection and good fortune

It appears therefore that, as in many things, it is tradition and folklore that lie behind a lot of today’s celebrations and commemorations and, in the case of Birthdays, it is probably because of yesteryear in ancient Britain when giving a birthday present was believed to bring protection, that the concept of the birthday party (and of giving birthday presents in general) has developed.

In very early days, only kings or prominent men were thought important enough to celebrate their birthdays in this way. But as time has gone on, us ordinary folks now celebrate birthdays too.

But perhaps we just want to give somone a present to say something special . .

gift saying I love you

. . like “I love you”!

Overall, hardly a day goes by without us wanting to pass on our best wishes for one event or another to a friend or loved one, and a symbolic gift is a good way of doing this. And seeing that walking El Camino is viewed as such a big event, people often give a little present such as a Camino de Santiago bracelet, necklace or earrings to send their friends or relatives on their way.

We have all grown up with various traditions, superstitions and beliefs. Whether you choose to believe them or not, it is undeniable that faith influences a lot of people, and much of our modern day gifting has roots in faith and belief.