why do we throw rice at a wedding

If you like the traditional symbolism associated with
throwing life-giving seed to wish the newly married couple as they
leave the church, there are a variety of other options. Probably the most
popular is birdseed or sunflower seeds. While these are bird-friendly options, like rice these can hurt if
thrown with vigor and be slippery on sidewalks creating a slipping hazard. For
those wishing to avoid that risk, some people have turned to blowing bubbles,
but this too can be really slippery if done indoors as bubbles from so many
well-wishers land on the floor and pop creating a soapy film, so be careful.
I remember the first time I attended a wedding while I was still a girl.


I asked my father why people where throwing at the newlyweds as they exited the church; he said it was so they would never go hungry at home. I kept this answer in mind and never again questioned the reason for this tradition. As an adult, IБve gotten married twice, in New York and in civil ceremonies. Of course, no one threw rice at either of my weddings; I think no one thinks of doing it outside a solemn court in this city. I looked at the legislation, and itБs not allowed in New York courts; even some churches in the city forbid it, while others suggest throwing seeds for the birds and not rice.


After doing more research, I found out that itБs 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. БFood 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,Б said Rev. Romualdo Calle, of the Renaissance Presbyterian Church in New York. БGrains 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,Б he added. 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 groomБs 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 birdsБ stomachs and for this reason, some churches recommend using seeds for birds, a theory the experts donБt support. 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.


I talked to some girlfriends who were showered with rice at their weddings and are still maried. They told me itБs uncomfortable and even painful to feel the grains falling on their heads, faces and the worst part, inside their clothes. I wonder if that was the missing detail for either of my two marriages to work out. Anyway, although today I prefer rice cooked and on my plate, if one day I do it again, since Бthe third timeБs the charm,Б this time around I would make sure I get showered with riceБ just in case.

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