The Religious Significance of Throwing Rice at Weddings


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Tlisted here are roughly 2.1 million marriages in america annually. Whereas marriage is a proper and authorized dedication between two emotionally linked people, the establishment used to look completely different. Traditionally, marriage usually occurred to make sure financial liaisons, bear kids, and preserve land and energy between households. The primary reported marriage ceremony dates again to 2350 BCE. Since then, many traditions have come, gone, and are available again once more—together with the rice toss.

What’s the rice toss?

The rice toss dates again to historic Roman instances as a symbolic want of prosperity, fertility, and happiness to the newlywed couple. Because the married pair exit the ceremony, visitors bathe them with grains of raw rice.

The religious significance of rice and rice throwing

Rice is an historic image of wealth, fertility, and good well being. So when rice is thrown at a marriage, it’s seen as a lifetime blessing of fine fortune.

Whereas the religious significance of wealth, fertility, and good well being is common, completely different cultures have had their very own tackle the toss. As an example, in Italy, the traditional Romans threw wheat earlier than transferring to rice within the Center Ages. In the present day, many Italians additionally bathe the couple with sweet and sugared nuts, representing an extra-sweet marriage.

Priya Patel, an Indian marriage ceremony planner and founding father of Xquisit Occasions, shares that whereas rice is an general image of blessings, the makes use of fluctuate. “In a South Indian marriage ceremony, rice is a big a part of the ceremony and is utilized in so many alternative elements,” she says. “These having a North Indian marriage ceremony solely use it as soon as—and that’s in the event that they even consider within the custom in any respect.”

Are individuals nonetheless throwing rice at weddings?

In response to a 2021 YouGov survey on marriage ceremony traditions, 44% consider the observe of throwing rice because the couple exits must be preserved. According to 33% who assume it must be eradicated, the custom has decreased in reputation over the previous few many years.

“It’s probably not a factor anymore,” says Sonal J. Shah, founder and CEO of Sonal Shah Occasions. “They used to do it much more again within the day for purity, however now have switched to issues like petals, that are higher for the birds.”

In 1985, “An Act Prohibiting The Use of Raw Rice At Nuptial Affairs” was handed in Connecticut. The invoice said that “no particular person shall throw, fling, forged, or hurl, any raw rice at any time throughout the celebration of any marriage,” in an effort to “forestall damage and loss of life of birds on account of ingesting uncooked rice thrown at weddings.” There was no scientific backing to the invoice, and regardless of the false rumors that birds can explode in the event that they eat the rice, the Act set off a widespread destructive impression, resulting in many excluding the toss from their ceremonies.

Different causes for the decline in rice-tossing embody issues over slipping hazards, varied stories of rice getting caught within the couple’s ears, and the problem in cleansing up the mess. (Many marriage ceremony venues both ban rice or cost further charges solely for its cleanup.)

Why is rice tossed solely at weddings?

Whereas there’s no set-in-stone purpose as to why rice throwing is unique to weddings, Katie Corridor, founder, and CEO of Finest Day Ever LA, shares {that a} huge half is within the energy of the individuals. “By doing it on the marriage ceremony, the couple is basically asking for everybody who’s in attendance to bathe them with power, fertility, and blessings,” she says.

Corridor provides that in her expertise, the rice toss isn’t widespread, however she sees alternate options comparable to mixing sand into one glass, lighting sparklers, throwing biodegradable confetti, and passing objects round. “I’ve had some shoppers, throughout the ceremony, begin with one thing of their hand, like a rock, and they’ll give it to the primary particular person and ask them to move it on,” she shares. “In the long run, each single particular person there touches it and the couple can deliver it residence. Once they’re going by means of tough instances, they will maintain it and say, ‘These 150 individuals had been witnesses to the truth that we love one another and are our advocates.’”


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