The tradition of throwing rice at a wedding can be traced back to Roman times. Originally wheat was thrown but this changed to rice when it became more widely acknowledged as a universal symbol of fertility.
Throwing rice fell out of favour when it was thought that rice was harmful to birds' digestions, although this claim has never been fully substantiated.
It is more common these days to throw confetti or dried flower petals. (Probably much better than being pelted with hard rice for the couple too !)
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