Why Do We Throw Rice At Weddings?

We throw a lot of things at weddings. The happy couple throws a party. The bride throws a bouquet. The groom throws a garter. Your drunk uncle throws his back out during the Electric Slide.

And when the night is about to come to an end, the reception turns into a Hibachi restaurant and starts throwing food. Okay, so maybe that is an exaggeration, but only slightly. As the bride and groom exit the wedding it is tradition to toss rice at them. They leave the most important day of their lives with a Panda Express shower.

Have you ever wondered why we do that? I have. Let’s find out in today’s edition of Wonder Why Wednesday…

Why Do We Throw Rice At Weddings?

According to MarthaStewartWeddings.com (yes, that is a website), this tradition dates back to the ancient Romans. Marriage meant growth — of a family and of one’s assets. Rice was not only considered a symbol of life, growth and prosperity, but it was also cheap and widely available.

As a form of good luck, rice was tossed at couples to offer them best wishes. Other cultures tossed similar foods such as wheat and oats. All as symbols representing luck and growth.

These days, many other items are thrown with similar ideas. In Italy, candy and sugared nuts are thrown as a symbol for sweetness in marriage. In Morocco, figs and raisins are tossed as a sign of fruitfulness. In America we throw hashtags as a sign of YOLO.


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