The Origin Of Throwing Rice At Weddings

The Origin Of Throwing Rice At Weddings

You've probably stood in a line, throwing rice at a just-married couple to celebrate their new life together. But where does that strange tradition come from? The custom actually began with the ancient Romans, and is meant to wish fertility for the newlyweds. Originally, Romans threw wheat, but soon afterwards rice became a universal symbol for fertility. In some versions of the tradition, the rice or wheat is eaten after it is thrown, which is meant as a compliment to the bride.

Why Do We Throw Rice At Weddings?

It's sweet, but really strange.

01:15

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Throwing rice at weddings is a tradition that wishes fertility upon the newlywed couple. (0:10)

  • 2

    Ancient Romans threw wheat at weddings. (0:26)

  • 3

    Rice is a universal symbol for fertility. (0:44)

This History of Wedding Traditions

Why do brides throw the bouquet? And why do women dive for it?

04:27

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Brides used to carry herbs instead of flowers. This practice stemmed from the belief that certain herbs would protect carriers from the black plague. (0:20)

  • 2

    Snatching a piece of the bride's dress was considered good luck in medieval France. (1:48)

  • 3

    Bridesmaids were originally dressed to look like the bride, thus confusing anyone who wanted to kidnap her. (3:01)

5 Countries Where Brides Don't Wear White

It's not a worldwide tradition.

02:28

from Stuff Mom Never Told You - HowStuffWorks

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Queen Victoria began the "white wedding" trend when she married in 1842. (0:08)

  • 2

    Traditional Irish brides wear blue dresses, which symbolize purity. (0:44)

  • 3

    Traditional brides in China wear red gowns to symbolize good luck. (1:39)

Why Do Men Propose On One Knee?

It's complicated.

03:21

from Stuff Mom Never Told You - HowStuffWorks

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    According to recent surveys, 76% of men think you should get down on one knee when proposing. (0:39)

  • 2

    "Genuflection" is bending at least one knee to the ground as a gesture of deep respect for a superior. (1:56)

  • 3

    Queen Victoria is the one who started the white wedding gown tradition. (3:01)

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