In Sicily, almond trees blossom in February and are usually harvested in July. The island's almonds are used in confections, sweet liqueur and even almond-flavored wines - which are thought to be an aphrodisiac. At weddings when I was younger, there would be chocolate and sugar coated almonds in a bowl for guests to eat and with each thank you gift there were a few sugar coated almonds attached to it too.
These 'confetti' were for good luck and apparently with a little bit of research I found out that it stems from an ancient tradition in Sicily.
The throwing of the almonds at the bride (we didn't throw them at our brides- the priests didn't like that) symbolised a marriage by capture (I guess throwing the almonds were part of the tactics of capture?) Now we use paper confetti, which the priest also doesn't like, or some people are not using this tradition anymore.
On our last journey to the sunny island, the almond was present every day in our food and the trees were always visible along our travels. After Jake excitedly plucked one open that he found on the ground, I ate it as we had not seen any ripe ones since the harvest had just passed. I had some initial reservations about eating it as it was quite dark in color but I quickily ignored it and popped it in my mouth - to my surprise it was rotten and tasted vile! I tried to spit out as much as possible, gracefully of course, and my mouth proceeded to sting for about an hour afterwards (!) I was hoping I wasn't going to have some reaction to the rotten almond like one does to eating the wrong wild mushroom. I survived to tell the tale of course and ate lots of fresh almond cookies to compensate!
At the next Italian wedding I go to I hope they have some almond confetti.