In Hinduism, rice holds great spiritual and ritual significance as it is a staple of the Indian diet. Because of its basic life-sustaining qualities, rice is revered as a potent symbol of auspiciousness, prosperity and fertility and therefore is used extensively in Hindu rites and rituals. Rice particularly plays a significant role in some Hindu samskaras — rite-of-passage ceremonies that signify transition periods in an individual’s life and personality development — as well as in harvest festivals.
During a Hindu wedding, rice is often sprinkled over the newlywed couple to bless them with a prosperous married life. Because rice is thought to ward off demons, it is poured into the wedding fire by the bride and bridegroom. It is also offered by the couple to their patron household deity after the completion of the marriage ceremony and sprinkled around the house by the new bride to secure blessings on their joint home. In certain parts of India the couple will stand on a pile of rice during the marriage ceremony.