Wedding ceremonies in India are largely elaborate and filled with many interesting rituals and customs. Most of these rituals involve some kinds of ceremonious fruits and grains used during different parts of the wedding, and an important one among them is rice. Rice or rice grains are an integral part of Indian weddings especially Hindu weddings, where it is used during the many different ceremonies. It’s not just used in the delicious pulaos and biryanis and other wonderful Indian wedding food!
(Image Courtesy : austinamericanastudio.com)
While in the some parts of the world, rice is thrown at newlyweds since the grain is considered a symbol of fertility, here in India it also has a different kind of symbolism attached to it. The rice grains also known as akshata are used in various pujas, diety offerings and religious ceremonies and also as part of many auspicious rites including the wedding. The rice grains are considered a symbol of prosperity, sustenance and abundance. It is used as offering to the gods during the wedding ceremony and also symbolically for the newlyweds to quite literally shower them with good wishes and future prosperity.
You will find the use of rice is rampant during an Indian wedding like during the entry of the bride to her in-laws home where she has to knock over a pot of rice with her foot or when puffed rice is thrown into the sacred fire around which the couple takes their pheras. Some communities also paste rice grains on their wedding invitation cards.