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Celebrating the End of the Year: A Brief History of Confetti

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The end of the year is coming up, and everyone can’t wait for summer, right? Let’s celebrate. Here is a brief history of confetti, some of which might just surprise you. From the creation of paper confetti to the invention of the confetti-making machine, all this confetti is sure to make you smile!

 

Let’s start at the very beginning. Confetti was first mentioned in 1313! That was over 700 years ago! This confetti however, was not the paper kind we are used to, but a concoction made up of spices, honey, and dried nuts (Phactual). But, it’s still cool. The next point on the timeline that we will talk about is in the 14th century, where different items, like candy and coins, were thrown around during Italian parades and festivities.  The tradition continued in the 18th century, where people would throw Jordan almonds and seeds during parades (Burnett). Still not the exact version of confetti that we are used to, but pretty close.

 

Now let’s talk about our confetti that we know today. It was first created when an Italian businessman, Enrico Mangili, took all “the punched- out pieces of paper leftover from silk worm bedding devices” in 1875. It revolutionized confetti because of its affordable cost and being safer than hurling objects (Phactual). Confetti was first used in a New Year’s celebration in Paris, France when they cut up old decorations and threw them around at midnight. This was in 1885. Finally, the last marker on the timeline of confetti was in 1891 when the confetti making machine was invented, and manufacturing started (Phactual).

 

Finally, to end with some fun facts…

 

  1. New Year’s Eve holds the world record for “holiday with the most confetti thrown”. Times Square alone throws over a ton on this holiday. It takes hours to clean up (Pham).
  2. At New Year’s eve in Times Square, they throw about 30,000,000 pieces of confetti from the tops of 7 buildings. This takes about 100 people (Pham).  
  3. People used to throw mud and eggs to make a statement against the upper class at Milan parades, but was banned by the city’s governor, Juan Fernandez. The ban lasted for about a century (Phactual).

 

To conclude, confetti has evolved greatly over centuries, from tossed around objects to the paper-kind that we know and use today. Feel free to throw it around at the end of the year and have fun with it. Let’s celebrate the end of a successful school year!

 

References:

 

Bedhead, Agent. “11 Facts About the History of Confetti.” Phactual, 29 Dec. 2014, phactual.com/11-facts-about-the-history-of-confetti/.

 

Burnett, Graham. “Confetti Uncut.” CABINET // Confetti Uncut, www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/52/burnett.php.

 

Pham, Diane. “New Year’s Eve in Numbers: Facts for the Times Square Ball Drop.” 6sqft, 26 Dec. 2017, www.6sqft.com/new-years-eve-in-numbers-fun-facts-about-the-times-square-ball-drop/.

 

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