Western-style weddings are overwhelmingly popular in Japan, and especially among young couples, outnumber Japanese-style ceremonies by a wide margin. In many ways, Western ceremonies in Japan are similar to what you’d see in the U.S. The bride wears a dress, the groom a tuxedo, and the pair exchanges vows and seals the deal with a kiss. The reception, likewise, usually involves toasts, a fancy dinner, and a bouquet toss.
But despite Japan’s rather open obsession with women’s undergarments, the garter toss isn’t a wedding tradition here. But the absence of a male equivalent to the bouquet toss has been noticed by some who are soon to be married, and they’ve hit upon the offbeat solution of having the men in attendance try to catch a bunch of broccoli thrown by the groom.
The broccoli toss seems to be a recent development, and as such isn’t really an accepted part of a conservative, stately wedding reception. For brides, grooms, and guests willing to show their playful side, though, it’s becoming an increasingly popular, if still very unorthodox, inclusion.
Twitter user @nano8000_ryo said: “I managed to catch the broccoli the groom tossed instead of a bouquet (people say this is a new trend?)!! My friends started joking, saying ‘It’s your turn to get married next,’ but I don’t think I’ll be able to do that for a while. Someday I want to have a ceremony as beautiful as the one I went to today.”
Just to be clear, this isn’t a plastic or plush replica. For a proper broccoli toss, only the actual vegetable will do, and some grooms are thoughtful enough to include a pack of mayonnaise, one of Japan’s favorite veggie condiments.
But…why broccoli? It turns out there’re actually a few schools of thought. One holds that the manner in which broccoli grows, with many stems branching out from the central stock, is a visual metaphor for a growing family, and so whoever catches the bunch will be blessed with many children. Others hold that the nutrient-rich vegetable symbolizes good health for whoever ends up with it.
While broccoli seems to be the most popular choice, other foodstuffs will do, such as cauliflower, or even a wrapped bouquet of mixed vegetables.
Only time will tell if these celebratory vegetables remain the domain of those with unusual senses of style and humor, like the "Legend of Zelda" cake-cutting or Beatmania welcome board, or whether they become so engrained in Japanese wedding tradition that brides start strapping broccoli to their thighs before the ceremony.
Sources: Naver Matome, Ameba News
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