The History of Faith Hope and Love - A Holiday Tradition

The symbols of faith, hope and love are synonymous with the holidays and hang every season over Main Street in Jakobstad Finland.

These time honored faith based symbols and their virtuous character propelled the symbols to prominence during the 17th century.

"Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love." - 1st Corinthians 13:13.

Long regarded as a sailor's symbol, the anchor was used as a symbol of hope in early civilizations and was cast on ancient coins of Rome, Syria, Greece, Phoenicia and Carthage. The anchor was regarded as a symbol of hope and represented safe haven and safe harbor for sailors in storms.

Jakobstad, on the west coast of Finland, has a centuries long history of shipbuilding and seafaring. Maps of the area from the 16th century state: ‘hic fabricator navalis’ – ‘ships are built here’

The sailors were renowned for their skills and knowledge and so Jakobstad became a thriving center for shipping and trade. The people took the sailor's symbols to heart which to this day is symbolized in the town's logo of the cross, anchor and heart.

The virtuous symbols were often carved or painted on the sailors sea chests and also became popular in tattoo form. The symbols were carved on all manner of furniture and the motif can be found on greeting cards and paintings of the era.

The cross, anchor and heart first appeared during the holidays over Main Street in Jakobstad Finland in 1913 with the advent of electricity. In that year the city was then completely unlit after the onset of darkness, giving the luminous symbols a dramatic appearance.

The tradition lives on to this day and the light of Faith, Hope and Love shines brightly in these handcrafted symbols made exclusively in Jakobstad, Finland.

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