Published On: Sun, May 10th, 2015

Rituals For New Born Babies In India


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India is a land of rituals. From birth to death every Indian performs a number of rituals. In this article on rituals for new born we will discuss the rituals that are commonly performed for every new born across the country.

Different Rituals in Different Regions

Each part of India has different rituals for the new born. It is common across India that for a certain number of days after the baby is born no puja is done in the house and people don’t even visit temples. These days can vary from 11 days to one month. After this period is over some celebration or the other is done. We will now discuss the celebrations that are commonly performed.

North India:

The birth of a child is a very happy occasion for any family. North Indians have a cradle ceremony for the new baby. This ceremony is usually performed either after eleven days or a month after the baby is born. On this day a priest is called to do puja.

New Born Rituals

New Born Rituals

After the puja is done the child is placed in a cradle for the very first time. Close family and friends are invited for this occasion and they gift the child. Feast is arranged and parties are thrown. In some families this occasion is also used to name the child. The child is named as per the horoscope.

It is a big occasion and families spend as per their abilities. Some of these celebrations are very grand. The North Indians are known for their lavish ways and so they end up making this a grand occasion. Another common ritual for a new born is to shave the head which is called mundan.

In this the head of the baby is shaved either on completion of one month or eighteen months. Some people may also extend this to five years.

South India:

In the south India the celebrations are always simple. In this part of the country on the eleventh day after the birth of the child or after two months arrangements are made to name the child. As per the horoscope of the child he or she is named in this ceremony.

In some parts of south India especially Tamil Nadu and Kerala cradle ceremony is also very popular. On the eleventh day after the birth of the child the baby is placed in a cradle for the first time.

Family and friends are invited to bless the child on this occasion. Food is prepared and parties are thrown. In the olden days this ceremony was performed in the house itself. Nowadays people book party halls and arrange for a party there.

Even today a small puja is arranged in the house to thank god for the baby. The puja is also performed for long life of the baby. The baby is made to wear new clothes and some families also visit temple with the new born. Shaving the head of the baby is also a common custom in South India.

The only difference is that in South the parents of the child take them to a temple and the head is shaved there. Tirupati is usually selected for this purpose. It is said that giving off your hair in Tirupati can earn you a lot of blessings.

East India:

Lets now move on to the eastern part of India. Even here the celebration of a new life is quite grand. After the child completes six months arrangements are made for annoprashan. In this ceremony the child has rice for the first time. Before this day rice is not given to the child.

The mama of the baby feeds the baby on this day. Priest is called in and pujas are arranged. The puja is basically done to remember the ancestors and tell them to bless the child. Apart from rice other food items are also offered to the child.

As East Indians are mostly non vegetarians’ fish, chicken and mutton are also a part of the food prepared. The family members and friends are invited for this occasion and they bless the child. Mostly gold is gifted to the child on this occasion.

The child is made to dress up like a bride or a groom. Shaving the head of the baby is a common ritual in East India. The birth hair of the child must be removed. Usually this is done either on the completion of the first month or eighteen months.

West India:

Like the other parts of India even in West India some rituals are commonly associated with the birth of a baby. Naming ceremony is a common one in this part of the country. It is celebrated either on the tenth or the twelfth day after birth of the baby. Family and friends are invited and lavish food is prepared.

On this day the horoscope of the child is read out and the name is given as per the position of the planets. Piercing the earlobes is also a common ceremony that is celebrated after the birth of the child. This is usually done only for the girl child and in the sixth or the twelfth month after birth.

Apart from the Hindu rituals we have to mention about the Christians and the Muslims too as they form a major part of India’s population. The Christians have the ritual of baptism. On this day the baby is christened in the church. The holy water is put on the head of the baby and it is baptized.

In some churches the baby is immersed in holy water. This ceremony is performed after the baby has completed a month. Even Muslims have a number of rituals associated with the birth of a child. The first one is Adhan. In this the father of the child must recite the adhan into the right ear of the child.

This must be done in the sunrise, at noon, in the afternoon, in the dusk and in the evening. The adhan is usually read out even in the mosques and it says that Mohammed is the messenger of god. Another ceremony that the Muslims follow is Aqiqah.

In this ceremony on the seventh day after birth an animal is slaughtered and it is offered to family, friends and poor. The animal selected is usually a sheep or a goat. On this day people are invited home for this ceremony. Nowadays some Muslims prefer to celebrated the Aqiqah a little later maybe after completion of three or four months.

We hope that this article on rituals for new born will help you to understand the ceremonies that are associated with a new born better. Most of the ceremonies across India are common as they were mentioned in the vedas.

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