*What is the tradition of the bouboniera? What do the Jordan almonds stand for?

All About Orthodox Baptisms



What is the tradition of the boubouniera? What do the Jordan almonds represent?



Bouboniera are favors given out in celebration at weddings, baptisms, anniversaries, and any special celebratory event. The favors traditionally contain jordan almonds. Boubonieres are given out as gifts to each guest after the wedding or baptism at the reception. Styles can range widely for these favors and can extend to the elaborate, distinctive and fun. Traditional favors are simple white, ivory, pink or blue puffs of tulle tied with a ribbon.


The gift of bomboniera is an Eastern Orthodox tradition over 3,000 years old. Filled with koufeta (coufeta)– or jordan almonds – the favors are given as tokens of good fortune and happiness. Bombonieres are symobolic of life with their bittersweet taste. The sugar coating represents the hope that life will be blessed with more sweetness than bitterness. The egg shape of the almond represents fertility. The whiteness of the almond symbolizes purity.


Bombonieres are always filled with an odd and an indivisible number of almonds (i.e., 7, 11 or 13 almonds). The traditional amount is 5 almonds – which symbolizes:

(1) health
(2) happiness,
(3) fertility,
(4) wealth and
(5) a long life


Sometimes 7 almonds are used. The 6th and 7th almond represent:

(6) Purity & Partnership

(7) Unity with Christ


If used for a baby shower, the 5 white Jordan almonds stand for the 5 wishes for the baby: health, wealth, happiness, fertility and long life.

Favors cannot be filled with 9 almonds, as 9 is a divisible number. In a wedding, the indivisible number symbolizes the union and indivisibility of the newly married couple. In a baptism, the indivisibility of the union of the baptized child with his or her Godparents.


Blessed Celebration offers explanation cards for koufeta favors upon request (email us at info@blessedcelebration.com for a pricing request). If you would like to make your own explanation cards, we offer the following sample wording for a wedding card as a courtesy:

"The white of the sugar coated almonds symbolizes purity; the egg shape represents fertility and the new life that begins with marriage. The hardness of the almond represents the endurance of marriage; the sweetness of the sugar symbolizes the sweetness of future life. The odd number of almonds is indivisible, just as the Bride and the Groom shall remain undivided."


** ** ** ** Variations of the Explanation Card: ** ** ** **



EXPLANATION CARD - Wedding, General version

The white symbolizes purity; the egg shape represents fertility and the newly married life. The hardness of the almond represents the endurance of marriage; the sugar coating symbolizes the sweetness of life. The odd number of almonds is indivisible, just as the Bride & Groom shall remain undivided.

EXPLANATION CARD - Wedding - 5 almonds

The white symbolizes purity; the egg shape represents fertility & newly married life. The hardness of the almond represents the endurance of marriage; the sugar coating symbolizes the sweetness of life. The odd number of almonds is indivisible, just as the Bride & Groom shall remain undivided. The five almonds represent: health, happiness, fertility, wealth & long life.

EXPLANATION CARD - Wedding - 7 almonds

The white symbolizes purity; the egg shape represents fertility & newly married life. The hardness of the almond represents the endurance of marriage; the sugar coating symbolizes the sweetness of life. The odd number of almonds is indivisible, just as the Bride & Groom shall remain undivided. The seven almonds represent: health, happiness, fertility, wealth, long life, purity, Unity with Christ.

EXPLANATION CARD - BAPTISM - 5 almonds

Jordan almonds are a traditional Orthodox favor. The white symbolizes purity. The egg shape represents the newly baptized life. The sugar coating symbolizes the sweetness of life. The odd number of almonds is indivisible, just as the bond between the child and Godparent shall remain undivided. The five almonds represent: health, happiness, fertility, wealth & long life.

EXPLANATION CARD - BAPTISM - 7 almonds

Jordan almonds are a traditional Orthodox favor. The white symbolizes purity. The egg shape represents the newly baptized life. The sugar coating symbolizes the sweetness of life. The odd number of almonds is indivisible, just as the bond between the child and Godparent shall remain undivided. The five almonds represent: health, happiness, fertility, wealth, long life, purity, Unity with Christ.






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