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Day 19 - The tradition of sugared almonds as gifts

You’ll have opened this little bag in your Advent box - a sweet treat classic found all over the world and synonymous with celebration, festivities and special occasions.

We have the Egyptians to thank for sweet almond treats - as far back as the Pharaohs and pyramids the delicate flavour of almonds has been cultivated and celebrated. Almonds were even found in the tomb of Tutankhamun!

From as early as the 700s up until the late 19th century sugared almonds were given to stage actors before entering on stage.

Much like the tradition of wishing an actor luck or “breaking a leg”, thespians were known to grant each other gifts of sugared almonds as a way of hoping they would deliver a good performance.

The five sugared almonds are said to represent:

·         Health

·         Wealth

·         Happiness

·         Love

·         Long life

It's not just the number of sugared almonds at celebrations that matter, as the colours also represent meaning.   White for weddings, silver for twenty-fifth anniversaries, gold for fiftieth anniversaries and for Christmas, sky-blue or pink for christenings, red for graduations, green for engagements.

Almonds are low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol and sodium. They’re also a good source of Vitamin E and manganese.

There’s even a poem!

Five sugared almonds for you to eat

To remind us that life is both bitter and sweet.

Five wishes to keep you from strife,

Health, wealth, happiness, love and long life!


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