India is home to many cultural traditions and rituals. Annaprashan is one of them. Annaprashan is a Sanskrit term for the rice initiation ceremony of a child. It is a famous Hindu ritual which marks the transition of a baby from consumption of liquid food to solids. The ceremony is known by different names in different states such as ‘choroonu’ in Kerala, ‘mukhe bhaat’ in Bengal and ‘bhaatkhulai’ in the Garhwal hills of Himachal Pradesh.
Significance of Annaprashan
Annaprashan is an important event in a baby’s life and is the first step of several he/she will take in his/her life’s journey. It’s a reminder that the child is growing up. Depending on the culture or region the parents belong to, the ceremony can take place anywhere between five and nine months of age. For boys, the ritual is generally performed during the even months such as the sixth or eighth month and for girls, it’s done during the odd months, that is, the fifth or seventh month.
The Annaprashan Vidhi
- books symbolising learning
- a pen symbolising wisdom
- jewellery symbolising wealth
- food items symbolising empathy and charity
- clay symbolising property
Types of Food Offered to the Baby
- Fried rice or pulao
- Kheer or payasam
- Fish (for Non-vegetarians)
- Meat dishes (for Non-vegetarians)
- Dal, sambar or rasam
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