Last year, the portuguese Christmas meeting happed exactly one month before Christmas. On November 25th, some of the usual suspects, some new faces and two international postcrossers, gathered in Viana do Castelo.
As for the postcards, they were sent by Zé and Vanesa, Sofia, Inês and Tiago. Ninocas also sent me this card of Lagarteira Fort but I already had it.
desenho da autoria de Tiago Parreira
Tiago got inspired by the valentine's handkerchiefs and and created a special card for this meeting.
Valentine's handkerchief is an handkerchief made from a fine linen cloth or cotton cloth, embroidered with various motifs. It is a piece of handicraft and clothing typical of Minho region, being used by women of marriageable age.
In the old days, a girl in love embroidered her handkerchief and hand it over to the boy she loved when he went away. The handkerchiefs could have embroidered verses, in addition to several designs, some standardized, having their own symbologies.
It was used as a ritual of conquest. Once made, the handkerchief would eventually come to the possession of the beloved man, who would use it in public as a way of showing that he had begun a relationship. If the boy did not use the handkerchief in public, it was a sign that he had decided not to initiate the relationship.
Speaking of which, the bride costume is one of the emblematic and beautiful costumes of Minho.
The black fabric gives the whole costume the solemnity required of the very ritual of marriage or the few exceptional occasions in which it was worn. To mark these moments, the girl placed all the gold she had on her chest, thus showing her economic power. Ambiened by all the young girls in Minho, this costume was object of the greatest care and stored in the ark, after the rare apparitions in public, to one day be given to the daughter or the granddaughter, as if it was a jewel. Sometimes this costume was wore, one last time, as a shroud.
The Cathedral of Viana, although it has a massive Romanesque like structure, is undoubtedly a work influenced by gothic aesthetic, and its construction began in the beginning of fifteenth century.