Annaprasan Puja | अन्नप्राशन पूजा
Annaprasan Puja | अन्नप्राशन पूजा
Hindu culture is full of different samskaras. Annaprashan Puja is one such important ceremony. The occasion when a baby consumes food for the first time is celebrated as Annaprashan Ceremony. It is a time of celebration where friends and family are invited to be a part of this joyous occasion. The process is also known as the ‘First Rice Eating Ceremony’. It is known by different names like ‘Mukhe Bhaat’, ‘Choroonu’, and ‘Bhaatkhulai’. It is performed on even days for boys and odd days for girls.
Annaprashan is a Sanskrit term, which literally translates as “grain initiation”. It’s commonly known as newborn baby’s first feeding or eating ceremony. Annaprashan is a popular Hindu ritual which marks the beginning of solid food intake by newborn babies. Following this ritual, the other weaning foods are introduced to newborn baby’s diet . While the rituals of the ceremony may differ according to the region, Annaprashan Celebrates baby’s transition towards solids food. Annaprashan is conducted when a newborn baby is ready to consume solids diet. Annaprashan Ceremony can be performed after six months and before the first birthday. For boys, Annaprashan is performed during the even months, generally in the child’s sixth, eighth or tenth month. Annaprashan is performed during the odd months for girls, usually the child’s seventh, ninth or eleventh month. Annaprashan is ceremony is mainly conducted at home or at a temple.
What is the Puja rituals ?
After consulting a priest, Annaprashan ceremony is performed on an auspicious day and time. The baby is dressed in new traditional clothes. Annaprashan ceremony starts with a puja and a havan for baby’s good health, prosperity and happiness. The puja ceremony is followed by a symbolic feeding of the prasad as the first morsel of solid food. Family and friends are invited to celebrate the occasion of Annaprashan. The religious ceremony is often followed by a ritual where various symbolic objects are kept on a banana leaf or on a silver tray. These objects include books which symbolize learning, a pen which symbolize wisdom, money which symbolize wealth, and food items which symbolize a love for food. Family and friends have fun seeing the little baby making choice. It is believed that the object baby chooses from the tray represents baby’s area of interest. A variety of food is served on the baby’s plate. Prasad is made up of rice pudding (kheer or payash) or mashed plain rice with ghee and some well-cooked dal.
- PUJA INFORMATION
This Rice feeding ceremony is performed with the belief that it will remove any inadequacies that may have been present. But this will happen only after it is carried out according to the proper Vedic method. Although the baby has been drinking milk, this ceremony is important as it is the first time he will consume solid food. The age is an important aspect to be looked into. This Puja has to be done between the ages of six to seven. If performed earlier, his body might not be able to digest it and delaying it too much might affect the health of the child.
What is the benefit of the Annaprashan Puja ?
- It is believed to cleanse the baby of things that he may have swallowed when he was in the womb.
- It is believed to protect the child.
- Helps in knowing about the child,s inclination towards his occupation in the future.
- Showers prosperity.
- Help increase the life span of an individual.
What are the occasion to do Annaprashan Puja ?
There are certain days that are considered auspicious for Annaprasana Puja, they are:
What is the procedure to do Annaprashan Puja ?
- All the Puja samagri items must be kept prepared beforehand
- A regular Puja is done before starting the Annaprashan ceremony procedure
- Chant the proper Annaprashan Sanskar mantra
- This is followed by the father or the mother feeding the baby
- After this, the baby is kept on the holy grass next to the fire while the father offers prayers
- After the Puja, certain stationary items or toys are spread out around the child. The first object chosen by the child indicates his future occupation. For instance, if he touched art materials, he would be an artist.