Italian “goody” bags…La Bomboniera!


Italians are great at giving gifts!  In fact, they even give gifts to their guests for attending their parties – whether it be a baptism, confirmation, graduation, wedding, or anniversary.  We call these gifts favors…but, in reality, they are truly gifts!  The items can be simple items to very elaborate gifts, depending on the budget of the event, but they are always beautifully decorated and adorned!  And they are unique to the couple, child, and event – usually no two are the same and because they can be tailored to each individual’s tastes, makes them all the more special!  There are entire shops in Italy dedicated to the bomboniera.  This is SERIOUS business! 

The history of the bomboniera goes back almost 500 years when people used to give food items (usually ones that were scarce) to their guests as appreciation for their participation in celebrating life’s special occasions. 

The bomboniere given at weddings always contain five Jordan almonds (or confetti).  These are given to the guests as a symbolic wish for the new bride and groom.  Five almonds are given to symbolize happiness, wealth, health, longevity, and children.  The bittersweet taste of fresh almonds symbolizes life, and the sweet candy coating represents hope that the newlyweds will enjoy more sweetness than bitterness.  And finally the number five is significant because it is indivisible and it shows that the union is strong and will not be divided.  Wow, so much power in those five little confetti!

I’m sure that this time of year  is a busy one for the bomboniere artists- let’s give them a hand for creating these perfect treasures for such special moments in life.

6 responses »

  1. Thanks for explaining the meaning of the Jordan almonds – and just in the nick of time!! Our nephew is marrying a wonderful girl named Jordan on June5th! We are having a shower for her and we knew there was some significance to people giving Jordan almonds for favors at weddings! We are going to give each attendee at the shower a little bag of five Jordan almonds with your explanation attached!

    • Ha! ha! I am glad those little confetti gave you all that power!!! But, oohh…I had heard of Sulmona confetti and wasn’t really sure what they were! Now I know that it’s a town where they make the famous confetti, thanks to your wanderings! So, were there lots of bomboniere in Sulmona? I have been looking for ideas!

      • You know, I didn’t notice as I was only there for one day but with all the shops (and churches and associated celebratory events) I’m thinking I may have seen some! When I go back in the Spring I’ll scope it out for you. It’s a small town, and I still have to visit the commune there.

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