Weddings and rice have a very strong and unbreakable meaning together!
We know that this thought might have led most minds to stumble upon a plate full of delicious biryani or pulao. But, the significance of rice is much more than just being a part of the food menu at weddings.
From offering rice to the ceremonial fire to the bride knocking on the rice-filled pitcher pot before entering her in-law’s house, there are several rituals that use rice as the holy ingredient. Throughout the nation, Hindus and Jains prefer using rice in most of their ceremonies, and weddings have been the prime example of this.
In this article, let’s get a deeper understanding of the value of rice in weddings or ceremony rituals, which has been a tradition since ancient times.
Here are some of the events in a wedding ceremony where the rice ritual is mandatorily expected:
During the wedding ceremony, when the priest reads the mantras, the bride & groom are asked to offer rice to the ceremonial fire. It represents your worship and invitation to the God Agni to witness and bless the ceremony.
There will be several mantras that the priest will recite throughout the wedding ceremony, where the bride, groom and their family members will be asked to offer rice to the ceremonial fire or for other holy rituals.
Rice is tossed on the newly married couple by the elders, loved ones and guests, which is to wish for them to be united forever. Apart from that, rice tossing is also referred to as offering food to all the uninvited evil spirits who never miss out on such happy occasions.
It means, tossing rice is the ritual to ward off any possible evil spirit who has a bad sight on the newly married couple. There is an ancient belief that the well-fed evil spirits would not harm the happy couple in any manner.
Every wedding is fulfilled by treating guests with delicious food, and this tradition is no different for the bride and groom. The couples are asked to feed on rice to celebrate their bond together, which implies that their life is now one, and they have to live by the vows forever.
In some cultures, rice eating is considered a symbolic tradition right before tossing rice over the newlyweds. And then, in the era of Queen Elizabeth I, the rice-tossing culture was banned. Instead, they were baked into small cakes and were then crumbled or tossed on the bride’s head as the wedding ritual.
When the wedding rituals are over, and the bride is ready to leave her parent’s home, the rice-throwing tradition is common. In this, the woman, mostly the mother of the bride, will be standing behind her, with her dupatta wide open. The bride will walk slowly while throwing rice behind her.
In Indian families, daughters are considered the manifestation of Goddess Lakshmi, and her being in the house itself is a sign of prosperity and wealth. The symbolization of this ritual is that even though the daughter is leaving her parents’ home, she is leaving behind her blessings for the family to continue to live with good wealth and prosperity.
An urn or pitcher pot full of rice is kept at the entrance of the house, and the new bride is asked to tip it over with her foot. It is called the Griha Pravesh ritual, which is done to welcome wealth, prosperity and happiness with her to the house.
This ritual is done in almost all Hindu cultures. Some people also do this ceremony while moving into a new house or when returning home after a long time.
This is a clear depiction of how important rice is for Indian weddings and how it represents prosperity, in terms of both spiritual and material. Almost all Hindu families accept this tradition as a holy ritual, whereas some families have stopped doing it as a consideration of food waste.
Following this ritual or not is the decision of individuals. But, the significance of rice in weddings is inevitable. People who have devoted their prayers and religiousness to God can’t defy the purity and importance of rice being used in traditional ceremonies.
Category: Ricing Since Centuries