The Tradition of Throwing Wedding Rice and What it Means

The tradition of throwing rice is a custom which has survived in Europe since  the Middle Ages. This practice began in the East, where rice is considered to be a symbol of fertility. In weddings the guests throw rice over the bride and groom in the hope that the couple have many children.

Therefore the rice which is thrown when the bride and groom leave the church or wedding ceremony means prosperity and fertility, which is wished upon the new marriage so that it results in a great family, and abundance in all meanings of the word.  These days rose petals are  also thrown to represent a sweet and full future.

In Poland, as well as the cusom of tossing rice, there is a tradition of geuest dropping coins at the bride and groom's feet for them to pick up as they leave the church. In Malaysian weddings which span a total of two days, rice and scented water is sprinkled over the bride to greet her at her home on the second days of the ceremony.

Due to a widely held, but false, belief that birds eating the rice left over from the wedding will explode, some marriage ceremonies use birdseed rather than rice. Because of this, some weddings use the blowing of bubbles instead.  Rice does not harm birds however, this having been confirmed  by The Cornell Lab of Ornithology,  Birdwatcher Digest and Birder's magazine.  In fact, many birds eat raw rice throughout the world and naturally enjoy it without exploding.  As one scientist explained, if rice had the effect stated, why aren't there pieces of birds scattered everywhere near rice fields!  

You can feel assured therefore that you're safe to have rice thrown at your wedding without risking any unintended avian detonations.

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