The Significance of Rice in Wedding Ritual

16 November, 2018

In Hinduism, rice holds great spiritual and ritual significance. It constitutes an essential staple diet. Because of its basic life-sustaining attributes, rice is appreciated as a potent symbol of auspiciousness, prosperity, and fertility. Hence, it’s not a surprise to find rice being extensively used in Hindu rites and rituals.

According to Hindu beliefs, a bride is considered to be an incarnation of the Goddess of Prosperity, Lakshmi. During the wedding ceremony, rice is often sprinkled over the newlyweds to bless them with a prosperous married life. Rice, considered pious, supposedly fends off demons, hence it is poured into the wedding fire by the bride and bridegroom.

During the ‘vidai’ ceremony, the family stands behind their daughter (the bride) and the womenfolk hold out their dupattas (scarves) as the bride gently throws rice behind her. This symbolizes that even though the Lakshmi of the home is departing, she is ‘paying her debts’ to the family, and leaves her blessing of wealth and prosperity and eternal happiness with her family.

It is customary for the newlywed bride to tip over a kala (an urn) of rice with her foot upon her arrival to the new home. This is called the Graha Pravesh. This is considered to bring prosperity and a sway of divinity to the new home of the bride.