The importance of rice at Indian Wedding

Indian weddings are packed with ancient traditions and rituals which at first glance may appear absurd, but they stand for deep symbolic and spiritual meaning.  Rice holds priority in Hindu tradition. It is deliberated as a symbol of wealth.

In Hinduism the ladies are contemplated as embodiments of the Goddess of Prosperity Lakshmi. All through Hindu and Jain ceremonies rice is passed with the symbolic meaning of creation and retention of prosperity, wealth and contentment.

In the course of ceremony, the bride and groom parts with rice into the ceremonial fire meant as oblation to God Agni the sanctified beholder to the ceremony. At the time of the Vidai the bride flings bunch of rice over her head in backwards direction moving towards out of the house. When nearing the edge of the house the newlywed flings three-five handfuls of rice over her head. The brothers and family members spread out their hankies or corner of the kurta to amass the grains.  After this the newly wed moves towards the car without looking backwards.

The flinging of rice in rear by bride suggests gratitude to parents and the family for all the affection given to her right from birth.  This is a token of acknowledgement plus her wishes for good fortune to the parents.  It depicts her wishes that her parents may never encounter any barriers in her absence for the whole life. She also aspires for every worldly success for her parents. The throwing of rice finds support in the fact that negativity is left behind, and positivity enters her new home.

Rice is also used on entering the home for the first time as married couple. The couple is blocked from doorway and the groom’s family is inside longing to welcome the newlyweds. The bride tips over an urn full of rice with her foot. This ceremony is called GrahaPravesh. This observance is done with the aim that the bride will bring prosperity with her.

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Rice is a vital part of Hindu wedding ceremonies. Ladies are contemplated embodiments of Goddess Lakshmi the Goddess of abundance and wealth. Therefore, the arrival and departure of the bride epitomizes the fact that she will disperse wealth, happiness and success. Rice is a symbol of plenty in South Asian cultures. Rice in Indian weddings is used at; –

  • Offerings to ceremonial fire
  • At the time of vidai
  • During GrahaPravesh; it is the time when the couple arrives at the home for the first time as a married couple.

Thus, rice is not just a cereal but a mode of conveying gratitude on departure from maternal home. The blessing gesture is a pious one.