At Real Handful we've always wondered why there is an influx of nut buying over the Christmas period. When you visit family members for a festive feast, you can be sure there will be a nutcracker and a bowl of nuts hiding in the corner.
It seems that everyone’s answer to the tradition of nuts is Christmas is different.
Throughout Europe people believe that Saint Nicholas started the tradition as he would bring nuts and festive treats to the feast on December 5th or 6th.
In other places around the world, people believe that Saint Nicholas attends a Christmas party with a sack full of nuts and snacks to be scrambled for the children.
An old tradition says that a good nut harvest symbolises that more children will be born in the coming year. People used to think that the nut harvest was closely linked with female fertility. This lead to nuts being scattered at weddings, festive parties, and birthdays to provide a lucky charm of fertility.
Religiously, nuts have large significance at Christmas due to their three parts: kernel, skin, and shell. They represents the “Saviour’s Blessed Body”, which brings good luck in Christianity.
So, at the end of your Christmas dinner when you are passing round a bowl of nuts, think about where you think this tradition really came from. Nuts bring a warming gesture to a dinner table as they are perfect for sharing and enjoying with friends.