successfully, for the performance, if they be at all unpopular, is organised to salute them on their return.
In Devonshire, as a bride leaves the church an old woman presents her with a little bag containing hazel nuts. These have the same signification as rice, and betoken fruitfulness--the rice is undoubtedly a late substitution for hazel nuts. And now we have confetti of paper as substitute for rice, itself a substitute for nuts. Catullus tells us that among the ancient Romans newly--married people were given nuts. Among the Germans "to go a-nutting" is a euphemism for love-making; and the saying goes that a year in which are plenty of nuts will also be one in which many children will be born.
The hazel nut would seem to have been a symbol of life. In a Celtic grave opened near Tuttlingen, in WUrtemberg, in 1846, was found a body in a coffin made of a scooped--out tree with iron sword and bow, and a pile of fifteen hazel nuts. Another had in its hand a cherry stone, and between its feet thirty-two nuts.
On the wedding day the Romans cast nuts. Catullus refers to this usage. So does Virgil--
Sparge, marite, nuces; tibi descrit Hesperus Octam. Bucol. viii. v. 30