10 Hindu Madhwa Rituals Followed Before & After Child Birth
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The birth of a baby is the happiest thing every family experiences in their life time.
India being a land of rituals, there are several rite, customs, traditions and religious auspicious practices that comes along with every major event in life.
Even before a baby is born, there are several sanskaras that are followed. And some are followed after the birth and even several years later after the child grows.
Garbhadana – Garbha is reproductive system and Dana is donation. This is a prayer that is performed soon after marriage for attaining parental obligations.
Punsavana – This is a ritual that is related to foetus protection and well-being. During the thirds month of pregnancy, Punsavana is performed for proper and strong physical growth of the unborn child.
Seemantha – Seemantha is equivalent to baby shower ceremony that is celebrated in general.
This is a ritual that is mainly done to satisfy the cravings especially food cravings of the pregnant mother. Prayers are offered for peaceful and calm mental state and developments for both mother and unborn child.
Jatakarma – Jatakarma is basically welcoming the child into the family. This is done in variatiions in different regions. Some make the baby to lick drops of honey and whisper the family God’s name or Lord Vishnu’s name in the child ears.
Tottilu – The cradling ceremony. The main event is placing the new-born in the cradle for the first time after birth.
Usually done after the 10th day of birth, the ritual calls for Aarti for both mother-child, before placing the baby in the cradle. Then the gathered ladies swing the cradle a couple of times taking turns and gift the new born baby along with blessings.
Namakarna – The naming ceremony is very auspicious among all Hindus.
Annaprashana – The day when the child tastes solid food for the first time. In India, the first solid food for babies is usually rice.
Karnavedha – The special day when the ears of the baby is pierced.
Piercing ears in India is associated with well-being of health. Ear piercing is done for both baby girl and baby boy before they reach their first birthday.
Chawala/Mundan – The first hair cut in every baby is very specially celebrated. This is a ritual that is carried out with lots of pre and post customs and traditions on the day.
Upanayana – When the baby grows and becomes the age of school-going, Upanayana ceremony is performed.
This ceremony is also called as Brahmopadesham. It is a holy ritual of wearing three strands of sacred thread which represents the three important vows - respect the knowledge, parents and the society.
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