Have you ever wondered when you were a child and attended weddings with your parents, why people throw rice at the newlyweds as they went out of the church?
Until this scene became something usual and you stopped asking. You grew up and attended several weddings, some did not throw rice after the ceremony.
After doing more research, we found out that it’s a custom dating to ancient Rome and is done to wish the spouses good luck, fertility and abundance in their new life as a couple.
Food is always a popular option, because it symbolizes an abundant harvest. Seeds and nuts symbolize fertility, because from a small seed, a large plant grows. Grains like wheat or rice were thrown at the newlyweds in old times so the couple would be prosperous and have many children to help them farm the land.
In other countries, different foods are thrown during weddings. For example, in Morocco, newlyweds are showered with figs and raisins to ensure a fruitful union. Italians traditionally throw candy and sweetened nuts. In Korea, the groom’s father throws red dates at his new daughter-in-law to attract fertility. In France, they prefer wheat, while in other European countries they even throw eggs!
Even today, some people think raw rice can explode in birds’ stomachs and for this reason, some churches allow it and some not because they believe that throwing seeds of rice would kill the birds. In other cities, the custom is simply forbidden outside courts and churches because of the nuisance of picking up the rice and because it can cause falls and other accidents.
Probably you have talked to some of your girlfriends who were showered with rice at their weddings and are still married. They told you it’s uncomfortable and even painful to feel the grains falling on their heads, faces and the worst part, inside their clothes.
Whatever the story is, don’t you think that this tradition is good to hold on to, still get showered with rice and candies too perhaps? 🙂