Over the years, despite the continuous technological progress, the tradition of giving baskets of food has not been lost, in which there are many Italian delicacies and food and wine products.
A very popular and widespread gift, in which the packaging plays a fundamental role: it must convey elegance and refinement, as well as having to be robust and resistant.
What’s the origin of the hamper?
The origins of the hampers are to be found in Ancient Rome.
About two centuries before the birth of Christ, the Romans used to celebrate the winter solstice by organizing the Saturnalia. During these feasts we exchanged presents and gifts, specifically baskets called "sportule", filled with food and laurel, were given away.
The “sportula” was a basket made with esparto leaves, a very resistant plant whose fibers were intertwined. These baskets filled with sprigs of laurel, olives and dried figs, were donated in honour of the god Saturn, protector of crops and agriculture, whose festival lasted from 17 to 23 December.
The baskets full of gifts were intended to appease the divinity and ingratiate it, in order to have a rich harvest the following year; therefore they symbolised fertility, prosperity and fecundity.
Despite the fact that the cult of the god Saturn was lost and Christianity spread, this practice has remained alive, albeit with ups and downs.
How did the tradition evolve?
At the end of these feasts, the day of Sol Invictus, which in the Christian tradition coincides with the birth of Jesus Christ, marks the beginning of the phase of greater light. However, although with the spread of Christianity the cult of the God Saturn has been lost, this practice has remained alive, with ups and downs: then returned to vogue, in the tradition of the Christmas present, during the twentieth century, after the war: when for to remove the spectre of hunger, after years of food shortages and poverty, baskets full of traditional Italian delicacies and products were given away. The peasant families, in particular, packed the baskets with the products of their land to give to the family doctor or to the parish priest, as a form of thanks.
Is the tradition of hampers still alive?
Today it continues to be a very appreciated gift, both by companies, which in this way pay homage to their employees, and by individuals, who make the stomachs of friends and relatives happy.
A wish for prosperity and good luck
The main meaning attributed to the gesture of giving away food, wines and other gourmet specialties is summed up in the wish of good luck to the recipients of the basket itself. It essentially aims to make the people who unwrap the package happy. The food and wine gift also represent an undisputed symbol of good food and sharing. The abundance and variety of products in the package are essential so that the wish for prosperity and well-being can be best interpreted.
Although times have changed and today, fortunately, the tradition of giving a basket remains linked to a message of affection. Receiving a basket from someone is equivalent to a sincere gesture of affection, a declaration of esteem.
Of course, any gift can be made with the heart but by giving a hamper we will be sure of the message we are communicating to those who will receive it: a message of benevolence and gratitude, a way to say "I love you" and to give a moment of sweetness.