Confetti are small pieces or streamers of paper, mylar, or metallic material which are usually thrown at celebrations, especially parades and weddings.[1] The origins are from the Latin confectum, with confetti the plural of Italian confetto, small sweet.[2] Modern paper confetti trace back to symbolic rituals of tossing grains and sweets during special occasions, traditional for numerous cultures throughout history as an ancient custom dating back to pagan times,[3][4] but adapted from sweets and grains to paper through the centuries.[5]

Confetti canon at london wedding party
Confetti cannon explodes as a bride and groom start their first dance

Confetti are made in a variety of colors, and commercially available confetti come in many different shapes. A distinction is made between confetti and glitter; glitter is smaller than confetti (pieces usually no larger than 1mm) and is universally shiny. Most table confetti are also shiny. While they are called metallic confetti they are actually metallized PVC. The most popular shape is the star. Seasonally, Snowflake Confetti are the most requested shape. Most party supply stores carry paper and metallic confetti. Confetti are commonly used at social gatherings such as parties, weddings, and Bar Mitzvahs, but are often considered taboo at funerals, due to the somber atmosphere. The simplest confetti are simply shredded paper (see ticker-tape parade), and can be made with scissors or a paper shredder. Other confetti often consist of chads punched out of scrap paper. A hole punch can be used to make small round chads. For more elaborate chads, a ticket punch can be used. Most pieces of paper flats will flutter as tumblewings giving flight times because of gliding aerodynamics.

In recent years the use of confetti as a cosmetic addition to trophy presentations at sporting events has become increasingly common. In this case, larger strips of paper (typically measuring 20 mm × 60 mm) in the colors appropriate to the team or celebration are used. For smaller volumes of confetti, ABS or PVC "barrels" are filled and the confetti is projected via a "cannon" (a small pressure vessel) using compressed air or carbon dioxide. For larger venues or volumes of confetti, a venturi air mover powered by carbon dioxide is used to propel significantly larger volumes of confetti greater distances.

Confetti au Moma
A pile of blue confetti.
2006 Rose Bowl post-game celebration
Confetti rains down on the field in the 2006 Rose Bowl post-game celebration


Since the Middle Ages, in Northern Italy it was common usage for the participants of carnival parades to throw objects at the crowd, mostly mud balls, eggs, coins or fruit. These traditions are still present in some towns in different forms, such as the "Battle of the Oranges" in Ivrea.

The use of throwing objects at parades is well documented in Milan since the 14th century. The nobles used to throw candies and flowers during the parades while dames threw eggshells filled with essences and perfumes. Lower-class people mocked the nobles by throwing rotten eggs, and battles among enemy factions or districts became common. In 1597, the city governor Juan Fernández de Velasco imposed a ban on the eggs throwing, along with banning squittaroli (spraying liquids in the street)[6] and other immoral behaviors. The custom disappeared for about a century, coming back in the 1700s in the form of launch of small candies, mostly sugar-coated seeds. The seeds used for the sugar candies were mostly Coriander (coriandolo in Italian), a common plantation in the area: the Italian name for confetti is indeed coriandoli.[7]

The candies were expensive, though, and the lower classes often used small chalk balls instead, called benis de gess (chalk candy). Those were officially defined as "the only material allowed to be thrown during the parades" in an edict by the Prefect of Milan in 1808, but the battles fought with them in the 1800s became too large and dangerous, with hundreds of people involved, leading to a ban of the chalk pellets. People circumvented the ban by using mud balls.[7]

In 1875, an Italian businessman from Milan, Enrico Mangili, began selling paper confetti for use in the upcoming carnevale di Milano, the yearly parade held along the streets of the city.[8]

At that time, the province of Milan was one of the main hubs of silk manufacturing. Mangili begun collecting the small punched paper disks that were left as a byproduct from the production of the holed sheets used by the silkworm breeders as cage bedding, and selling them for profit. The new paper confetti were well received by the customers, being less harmful, funnier and cheaper than the alternatives, and their use quickly replaced previous customs in Milan and northern Italy.[8]

Scientific American recorded that the throwing of paper confetti (plain shredded paper) occurred at the 1885 New Year's Eve in Paris.[9] Paper confetti became common in all of Europe in just a couple of decades later (unlike ticker tape parades, which never received as wide a diffusion as they did in the U.S.).


Bubbles confetti Dryham Park country club wedding
Bubbles used in place of confetti

A recent innovation at weddings is to use natural petal confetti. These are made from freeze-dried flower petals and are completely biodegradeable. In fact, many venues now require that only these biodegradable versions may be used. Some wedding venues have decided that due to the mess and potential inconvenience caused by the use of confetti to ban its usage completely. One way that this restriction has been circumvented is to use soap bubbles in place of confetti.[10]

Etymology and Italian confetti

Italian confetti

The English word confetti (to denote Jordan almonds) is adopted from the Italian confectionery of the same name, which was a small sweet traditionally thrown during carnivals.[11] Also known as dragée or comfit, Italian confetti are almonds with a hard sugar coating; their name equates to French confit. The Italian word for paper confetti is coriandoli which refers to the coriander seeds originally contained within the sweet.[12]

By tradition, the Italian confetti (sugar coated almonds) are given out at weddings and baptisms (white coating), or graduations (red coating), often wrapped in a small tulle bag as a gift to the guests. For a wedding, they are said to represent the hope that the new couple will have a fertile marriage. The British adapted the missiles to weddings (displacing the traditional grains or rice symbolising sexual fertility) at the end of the 19th century, using symbolic shreds of coloured paper rather than real sweets.[11]

See also


  1. ^ "American Heritage Dictionary". 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  2. ^ "Confetti - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". 2012-08-31. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  3. ^ "confetti - definition of confetti by The Free Dictionary". Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  4. ^ "A Brief History of Jordan Almonds (Confetti)". Candy Favorites. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  5. ^ "The Daily Apple: Apple #360: Confetti". 2008-12-31. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  6. ^ "Wedding Bells and Chimney Sweeps « Bruce Montague". Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  7. ^ a b [1] Archived July 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ a b "Enrico Mangili, l'inventore dei coriandoli « Cascina Gobba". 2010-11-21. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Wedding Confetti, where did it come from, and where is it going? Throwing it out there!| London Wedding Photographer". Big Day Weddings Photography | London Wedding Photographer. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  11. ^ a b "Etymology and Origin". Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  12. ^  Posted by admin on June 29, 2011 (2011-06-29). "A Brief History of Confett". Archived from the original on April 14, 2013. Retrieved 2014-07-21.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)

External links

  • Media related to Confetti at Wikimedia Commons
  • The dictionary definition of Confetti at Wiktionary
Carnival of Basel

The Carnival of Basel (German: Basler Fasnacht) is the biggest carnival in Switzerland and takes place annually between February and March in Basel. It has been listed as one of the top fifty local festivities in Europe.


A cascarón (plural cascarones, without accent mark; from Spanish cascarón, "eggshell", the augmentative form of cáscara, "shell") is a hollowed-out chicken egg filled with confetti or small toys. Cascarones are common throughout Mexico and are similar to the Easter eggs popular in many other countries. They are mostly used in Mexico during Carnival, but in US and Mexico border towns the cultures combined to make them a popular Easter tradition.

Decorated, confetti-filled cascarones may be thrown or crushed over the recipient's head to shower them with confetti. This originated in Spain. When a child would act up, their father would crack an egg over their head as a consequence, and a way of showing their disappointment in them. In addition to Easter, cascarones have become popular for occasions including birthdays, New Year's, Halloween, Cinco de Mayo, Dieciséis, Day of the Dead, and weddings. (wedding cascarones can be filled with rice). Like many popular traditions in Mexico, cascarones are increasingly popular in the southwestern United States. For example, they are especially prominent during the two-week, citywide festival of Fiesta in San Antonio, Texas. Cascarones are usually made during Easter time.

In order to make cascarones, one can use a pin or knife to break a hole in the end of the eggshell and pour the contents out. The shell is then cleaned out, decorated as desired, and allowed to dry, before it is filled with confetti or a small toy. Usually, glue is applied around the outside of the hole and covered with tissue paper.

Confetti (1927 film)

Confetti is a 1927 British silent drama film directed by Graham Cutts and starring Jack Buchanan, Annette Benson and Sydney Fairbrother. It had its trade show in December 1927. The film was shot at Gainsborough Pictures' Islington studios.

Confetti (2006 film)

Confetti is a 2006 British mockumentary romantic comedy film released on 5 May 2006. It was conceived and directed by Debbie Isitt and stars many acclaimed British comedians, including Jessica Stevenson, Jimmy Carr, Martin Freeman, Mark Heap, Julia Davis, Robert Webb and Olivia Colman. It follows a bridal magazine competition for the most original wedding, the ultimate prize being a house, and the three couples who are chosen to compete. The film follows the contestants in a fly-on-the-wall documentary style, akin to The Office. The script is entirely improvised.

Confetti (Little Birdy album)

Confetti is the third studio album by Australian indie rock band Little Birdy, released on 8 May 2009. It debuted at number 6 on the ARIA album charts.

Confetti (Sérgio Mendes album)

Confetti is an album from 1984 by Sérgio Mendes.

Most of the songs of the album were written by established US pop composers and lyricists such as Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Don Freeman, and Tom Snow. Among the notable singers on the album are Joe Pizzulo and Gracinha Leporace.

The song Olympia from the album was written for the 1984 Summer Olympics.

Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies

Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies is a specialist further and higher education college in Nottingham, UK. The college offers BTEC level 1 to 3 courses in Introduction to Creative Industries,

Digital Media,

Games Development,

Music Technology,

Technology & Performance,

TV & Film Screen Acting, production and animation.

Its degrees are validated by Nottingham Trent University.

Confetti candy

Confetti candy is a confectionery food product that is prepared with cooked sugar and corn syrup that is formed into sheets, cooled, and then cracked or broken into pieces. It has a hard, brittle texture. To add eye appeal, colored sugar is sometimes sprinkled atop after the cooking and shaping process has been performed.Confetti candy, also known as confetti sprinkles is also a confectionery that consists of flat or disc-shaped candy sprinkles These are similar to round nonpareils, but are prepared in disc form. It is often used to decorate confectioneries and other sweets.

Egg hunt

An egg hunt is a game during which decorated eggs or Easter eggs are hidden for children to find. Real hard-boiled eggs, which are typically dyed or painted, artificial eggs made of plastic filled with chocolate or candies, or foil-wrapped egg-shaped chocolates of various sizes are hidden in various places. The game is often played outdoors, but can also be played indoors. The children typically collect the eggs in a basket. When the hunt is over, prizes may be given out for various achievements, such as the largest number of eggs collected, for the largest or smallest egg, for the most eggs of a specific color, consolation prizes or booby prizes. Real eggs may further be used in egg tapping contests. If eggs filled with confetti left from Mardi Gras (cascarones) are used, then an egg fight may follow. Eggs are placed with varying degree of concealment, to accommodate children of varying ages and development levels. In South German folk traditions it was customary to add extra obstacles to the game by placing them into hard-to reach places among nettles or thorns.

Exposition Park, Dallas

Exposition Park (or Expo Park) is a neighborhood in south Dallas, Texas (USA). It is north and west of Fair Park, and is centered along Exposition Avenue on the eastern edge of P.D.269 (Deep Ellum, TX). It is home to several eclectic bars and restaurants (Eight Bells Tavern, Expo Bar and Grill (opening 2015), The Underpass, Double Wide, Craft and Growler, Cold Beer Company and Pizza Lounge), and several small businesses (Ruby Room, Expo House, Hollywood 5 & Dime, Rob's Chop Shop Barbershop, Dallas Hair Company), and small entertainment venues like Confetti Eddie's Magic Parlor.

It is also widely known for being an artistic area with a professional theater company (Ochre House Theater) and art galleries (500 X Gallery, Centraltrak, The Wit Gallery, Avenue Arts Venue, etc.) and venues positioned on Exposition Avenue.

Ichthyosis with confetti

Ichthyosis en confetti, is a very rare form of congenital ichthyosis in which healthy patches of normal skin co-exist within the abnormal skin areas. The condition is caused by a frameshift mutation in the keratin 10 gene (KRT10); mutant keratin 10 accumulates in the nucleolus, a sub-nuclear structure, rather than within cellular intermediate filaments like the wild-type protein. Children with the condition exhibit red, flaky skin; however, for reasons not yet totally clear, wild type clonal patches of skin start to appear, in place of the red, flaky skin. Due to the clonal nature of the growth of the normal skin cells, it appears the patient is covered with confetti, hence the name of the condition. It has been hypothesized that this is the result of a combination of mitotic recombination and natural selection within the skin.

Mark D

Mark D, born Mark Randall, is a British punk musician (guitarist and songwriter). He is also associated with the Stuckist group of artists. Mark D was born and spent his childhood in Peterborough. He now lives in Nottingham.

Party popper

A party popper is an object commonly used at parties. It emits a loud popping noise by means of a small friction-actuated explosive charge that is activated by pulling a string. The explosive charge comes from a very small amount of Armstrong's mixture (a highly sensitive explosive) in the neck of the bottle-like shape. In some party poppers the explosive charge is replaced by compressed air. In party poppers with an explosive charge, there are less than 0.25 grains (0.016 g) of explosive. The streamers are non flammable for safe use. The charge or compressed air blows out some confetti or streamers and emits a popping sound. The charge is often composed of red phosphorus and strong oxidizer, such as potassium chlorate and potassium perchlorate.

There are also party popper revolvers on the market, which use a speedloader-style cartridge filled with six party popper charges inserted into a normally colorful plastic device loosely resembling a pistol or revolver. Its functionality is very much the same as a pistol; the depression of the trigger apparatus rotates the chamber so that a live charge is presented to a hammer, which falls onto a regular cap ring embedded in the bottom of the chamber. The chambers are one-use only.

Party poppers are generally listed as a novelty item or trick noise maker and are sold year-round in shops that sell party supplies.

The world record for most party poppers popped in one minute was achieved by Andre Ortolf, who popped 78 in one minute.

Rip Taylor

Charles Elmer "Rip" Taylor Jr. (born January 13, 1935) is an American actor and comedian. He is known for his exuberance and flamboyant personality, including his wild moustache, toupee, and his habit of showering himself (and others) with confetti.


Sprinkles, sugar strands, or hundreds and thousands, are very small pieces of confectionery used as a decoration or to add texture to desserts such as cupcakes, doughnuts or ice cream. The tiny candies are produced in a variety of colors and are generally used as a topping or a decorative element.


Sulmona (Abruzzese: Sulmóne; Latin: Sulmo; Greek: Σουλμῶν, Soulmōn) is a city and comune of the province of L'Aquila in Abruzzo, Italy. It is located in the Valle Peligna, a plateau once occupied by a lake that disappeared in prehistoric times. In the ancient era, it was one of the most important cities of the Paeligni and is known for being the native town of Ovid of whom there is a bronze statue, located on the town's main road, named after him.

This Is Acting

This Is Acting is the seventh studio album by Australian singer and songwriter Sia. It was released on 29 January 2016 by Inertia, Monkey Puzzle and RCA Records. The album is mostly composed of songs written by Sia for other pop artists that were not included on their albums. Sia described songwriting for others as "play-acting," hence the title This Is Acting."Alive", the album's lead single, was released on 24 September 2015. The second single, "Cheap Thrills", was released on 11 February 2016, becoming a top 5 in a number of markets and marking her first number one on the US Billboard Hot 100. The remix of the track featured guest vocals from Sean Paul. A deluxe edition of This Is Acting was released on 21 October 2016 featuring seven new tracks, including the single remix of "Cheap Thrills" and the solo and Kendrick Lamar-assisted versions of "The Greatest". The fourth single, "Move Your Body" was released on 6 January 2017. The singles "Cheap Thrills" and "The Greatest" both reached the top 5 in numerous countries. The singles "Alive" and "Move your Body" only managed to reach the top 100 in numerous countries.

The album received generally positive reviews from music critics, who complimented Sia's vocals and deemed it a concept album. However, some criticized the impersonal and indirect nature of the songs. The album debuted at number one in Australia, and also reached number four on the US Billboard 200, selling 81,000 album equivalent units in its first week—of which 68,000 were from pure album sales, becoming Sia's highest first week sales in the country. To further promote the album, Sia embarked on the accompanying Nostalgic for the Present Tour in September 2016. This Is Acting was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album.

Ticker tape parade

A ticker tape parade is a parade event held in a built-up urban setting, allowing large amounts of shredded paper (originally actual ticker tape, but now mostly confetti) to be thrown from nearby office buildings onto the parade route, creating a celebratory effect by the snowstorm-like flurry. The concept originates from and is most usually associated with the United States, especially with New York City. Outside the United States, ticker tape is often associated with the 1978 FIFA World Cup held in Argentina.

Vitiligo ponctué

Vitiligo ponctué is a cutaneous condition, an unusual form of vitiligo, characterized by small confetti-like or tiny, discrete macules that may occur on otherwise normal or unusually darkened skin.

Paper products
Parties types
See also

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