Informant: As far as traditions like that. My aunts are Danish, and we do this thing on Christmas eve where every person gets this like lemon dessert. Everyone in the house gets one, and only one has an almond underneath. I’ve never known what it’s supposed to represent or whatever, but the person with the almond has good luck for the rest of the year. Also, the person who gets the almond has to host the party for next year. We do that on Christmas Eve.
I asked a group of friends if they had any holiday traditions. This was one of their replies.
This is very similar to a game my neighborhood plays every year where a bundt cake is cut, and whoever has a plastic baby Jesus in their slice has to host the Christmas party the next year.
“Whenever someone gets married, it’s a tradition to eat almonds at the wedding so that the wife becomes fertile. I first saw this at the first Persian wedding that I went to when I was, like, eight years old. They put little bags of almonds underneath every single guest’s seat during the ceremony. At the end, when they marry each other, all the guests take out the almonds and eat them. Obviously, I was confused when it first happened, and my mom said, ‘Oh, you do this so the wife becomes pregnant.”
I was with friends when the informant offered this piece of information. We had been talking about how people our age (early 20s) are getting married very quickly, which then devolved into a conversation about weddings, both traditional and not. The informant learned about this custom, as outlined in the description, through weddings she celebrated with her own family, and she learned through observation.
I think small details like these within larger events or celebrations are very interesting. In high school, I learned a lot about fertility charms, such as the fertility goddesses made of stone. The act of eating almonds raises a lot of questions for me, questions aimed at wanting to know why almonds, why eat them, etc. I’ve not been to many weddings, but my first thought when I encountered this ideal was — what happens if someone is allergic to nuts?