History About Tossing Rice

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Tossing Rice TraditionTossing Rice on Married CoupleTossing Rice Tradition

Rice TossingRice is used in Wedding Ceremonies

In the ceremony of wedding, where two souls come together for eternity people follow various customs and traditions and also enjoy it. Each custom or ritual performed at the time of wedding has its own specific significance. Rice from ancient days played a major role not only in wedding ceremonies but also in many auspicious functions. Throwing of rice on a newly married couple signifies the symbol of fertility for the bride and the groom. According to the customs and traditions of the Hindus in India, rice is regarded as a nutrient for sustenance. Usually in wedding ceremonies the rice is mixed with turmeric powder and it is this yellow rice which is thrown on the couple and to bless them. Apart from this ritual puffed rice is also added in the sacred fire along with clarified butter.There are also other beliefs like throwing of rice means that the girl is paying back her parents all that they have spent on her till date and thus though she leaves the house she wishes her family members to be in prosperity and welfare.

Rice TossingAccording to the Roman Customs the Bride Carries a Bundle of Wheat or Rice

-In olden days wheat was used for the same purpose for centuries and it once again signified the brimming of the symbolism of fertility and of prosperity. When the people who are gathered in the wedding hall throw rice on the married couple it means they symbolically wish them a lifetime full of these blessings. Even the Romans dating back to history followed the tradition of throwing rice on the newly married couple. They also believed rice and wheat as a symbol of fertility. According to the Roman customs the bride carries a bundle of wheat or rice in her hand till the entire process of wedding and at the time of the happening of the marriage the guests present there toss the grains on the couple. There will be young girls around the bride who then pick up the grains that has spilled everywhere around the bride. The young mainly collect this because they believe that in that grains which they gathered will promise them to pass through the bridal path as early as possible.

Rice TossingThe Custom of Tossing Rice on the Newly Wedded Couple

Customs of Tossing Raw Rice
-There are also other reasons behind the tossing of rice on the newly married couple. This is not only to keep them united with lot of prgenys but instead to act as a food for the uninvited evil spirits who never fail to attend such happy occasions. Thus the main reason is to ward off evil spirits for it is strongly believed from ancient period that well-fed evil spirits would bring no harm to the happy couple.

Even in Christianity the customs of tossing raw rice on the newly wedded couple happens as they come out of the church after the marriage ceremony. Later the people thought the raw or the uncooked rice when eaten by the birds it might cause damage to the bird's stomach. So the people got very concerned about their feathered friends and opted for birdseed instead of the grains.

Rice TossingRice is eaten together before the rice shower

-There is no wedding which ends without food for the guests for the act of feeding on the rice by the couples together keeps them bound in the theory of matrimony and it implies that they will live together for a long period of life. In other cultures, the symbolic eating of rice together preceeded a shower of rice over the married couple. It was during the period of Queen Elizabeth I of England when the wheat tossing culture was stopped and instead wheat was baked into small cakes and was then crumbled and then tossed on the bride's head.

Rice TossingWheat and barley cakes are broken

-Slowly this gave way for baking of large wheat cakes which was eaten together rather than thrown on the bride and the groom. But however the people who came for the wedding left empty-handed had no recourse but to find a suitable substitute for the costly wheat cakes. So they required something less expensive to be tossed at the bride to prove themselves as active participants in the ceremony. Then finally the people narrowed down on the cheapest and clean white rice grain and that's how the tradition of tossing rice on the married couple is even now practiced in most of the cultures. Barley cakes were also used in the Roman tradition of smashing a barley cake over the bride's head to ensure her fertility.