A Traveller Or Not You Can Collect Your Own Pictures Of The World With International Souvenirs.

Originating from the French for a remembrance or memory, a souvenir often serves to elicit thoughts and feelings of a time when a specific place was visited. The items themselves can also have a practical use such as fridge magnets and key rings. Of course travel souvenirs are not a new phenomenon; did you know that as early as 330BC Alexander the Great employed approximately three thousand camels and mules in bringing souvenirs from the Persian capital of Persepolis? Over the years the tradition has continued and although you may have a little difficulty getting a camel train through customs these days, key rings, fridge magnets and other items of memorabilia are commonly purchased on foreign travels. You do not have to leave your home to purchase such an item that creates a picture of a place, though. At World-wide-gifts.com Internet Store you can buy memorabilia from all over the world. So whether you want a reminder of a place once visited or an essence of a place not physically experienced why not pay a visit to the site.

Souvenirs Of The Ancient World

Alexander the Great was not the only traveller in ancient times to bring home souvenirs. Did you know that the production of items specifically intended to be souvenirs was due in great measure to the need for memorabilia by travellers? This need was indicted by an often carried out practice of taking small pieces of statues and monuments. Obviously this could not continue as headless statues or monuments whose bases were eventually obliterated would just not do; so miniature versions of these creations were made and the travellers were appeased. So even so many years ago souvenirs were a recognised requirement. After all tourism is most definitely not a recent phenomenon; did you now that not long after its construction began, in AD122, Hadrian's Wall became a tourist attraction? Enamelled Roman pans, thought to be souvenirs from this edifice in the north of England, have been found as far afield as Wiltshire, Staffordshire, and Amiens. These pans were all made within decades of the wall's construction. Other Roman tourist souvenirs have been found across Europe, at places such as Athens, Ephesus and Alexandria.

So What Did Our Medieval Cousins Collect On Their Travels?

In Medieval times faith was a major reason for travel as Europeans were encouraged to travel to religious sites connected with the birth and life of Christ and the lives of various saints. To travel to these places was to display the depth of your faith. One of the most famous pilgrimages was to Canterbury in England, as depicted in Geoffrey Chaucer's world famous literary works ‘The Canterbury Tales'. Canterbury was the location of the murder of Thomas Becket who was canonised in 1174. So how could pilgrims prove that they had visited these holy sites? Did you know that is where the souvenirs of the time come into play; in the form of pilgrim badges? Mostly made of pewter or lead these items were popular between 1350ADand 1450AD. They depicted the various saints and religious sites and were worn on hats and clothing by the pilgrims, to show how holy they were. These badges were the first mass produced items of memorabilia and selling them to the pilgrims not only served to raise money for the various religious sites but also to raise public awareness of the sites themselves, encouraging more people to travel.

The More We Travel; The More We Take Home

The cycle of the production of souvenirs increasing public awareness of various destinations, thereby increasing travel, and the production of further souvenirs, has continued over the years. Global tourism has increased with improved transport links and standard of living. Overall people have more leisure time to spend travelling and more disposable income than was the case back in history. This is reflected by the fact that, between 1950 and 2002 the number of international tourist arrivals grew from 25 million to 715 million, as estimated by The World Tourism Organization (WTO). The number of tourists worldwide was expected to exceed one billion in 2012. The amount of money spent on souvenirs has therefore also increased as people crave reminders of their travels or a little piece of places they have heard friends and family describe.

To Be Practical Or Not To Be Practical; That Is The Question

Not only has expenditure on souvenirs increased but the type of items purchased has changed. Although we still purchase pots and jars like the romans did, and badges can still be bought as they were in medieval times, items from spoons to fridge magnets, and key rings to postcards have risen in popularity. There is a tendency for this type of souvenir to be internationally available; whether you are at The Empire State Building in New York, or the Eifel Tower in Paris, you can purchase a fridge magnet depicting your location. And, of course, fridge magnets have a practical use; although it is more likely for a person to have several fridge magnets, for decoration purposes only, rather than to stick messages or important notes to the fridge. Souvenir spoons can also have a practical use, although again they are more likely to be merely collected than used. Did you know that the first souvenir spoon to be created in the United States of America was produced in 1890 by Galt & Bros., Inc. of Washington D.C and featured the profile of George Washington? But it is the ‘Salem Witch' spoons created by Daniel Low, the following year, that are credited with the popularising the collection of souvenir spoons in the United States. Of course there are certain souvenirs which are special to a particular place and some which have no particular practical use. A case in point is ‘lucky' Scottish heather. Did you know that, although the Scottish people have utilised heather since way back in history; it was the Victorians who popularised the attachment of luck to it? Queen Victoria herself wrote about her renowned servant, Mr Brown, who "espied a piece of white heather, and jumped off to pick it. No Highlander would pass by it without picking it, for it was considered to bring good luck." The luck attached to this white heather may be due to its relative rarity, similar to that associated with the four-leaf clover for other Celts. Whatever the origin it is the associated luck that is the attraction for this souvenir and not practicality.

Getting the Pictures Without Experiencing The Album

Whether practical or whimsical a souvenir represents a particular place and/or event for the owner. In a large amount of cases the item is a reminder of a trip taken. For instance a holiday in Sydney, Australia may result in the purchase of a boomerang, toy koala, or hat with corks; all of these items are amongst the top ten most popular souvenirs from Australia. Did you know that in the Western Australian Aboriginal language Noongar the word Kylie means curved stick or boomerang? We would not recommend trying to bring Ms Minogue home as a souvenir, should you ever encounter her, though. Should you neglect to purchase a souvenir whilst on your travels you can still have a reminder of your trip with great ease, in this technological age, by purchasing souvenirs online. You may also be tempted to do this if like the look of a far flung destination but are unable to visit. World-wide-gifts.com Internet Store enables you to do this with a large collection of international souvenirs.

So Now You Know All Of This But Did You Know That?

So we have given you a lot of information about souvenirs; their origin; history; use and acquisition. But we bet there are plenty more things that would surprise you about these items of memorabilia.

Did you know that...

  1. Diggers known as mud men, or mud larks in recent years discovered pilgrim badges whilst scavenging in the River Thames in London?
  2. Termination Rock certificates were one of the earliest souvenirs from Niagara Falls? They were given to people who walked the very rickety stairs down and under the falls.
  3. The first souvenir postcard printed in the United States of America advertised the 1893 Columbian Exposition?
  4. Prior to being used for decorative swords and letter openers, the steel of Toledo, Spain was used in the making of swords and shields for European cavalry?
  5. The Maneki neko is a popular Japanese souvenir? You may be familiar with the sight of this beckoning cat but you probably do not know it is a lucky charm thought to attract luck in business and prosperity.

One thing it is important that you know is that if you are looking for a souvenir of a favourite place World-wide-gifts.com Internet Store has plenty to choose from.