Annaprasana Ceremony: First Rice-Eating Celebrations

4 min read

Written by Pradeep


Annaprasan Ceremony

The literal translation of Annaprasana (Sanskrit: अन्नप्राशन, Annaprāśana, Bengali: অন্নপ্রাসান, Onnoprashon) is anna = rice, and Prasanna = to enter. Annaprasana means introducing solid food to the child, i.e. feeding rice or solid food for the first time. After this ritual is carried out, the child now can be introduced to different foods.

Annaprasana is done after the ‘Namakaran’ ceremony and is considered auspicious because the baby can now have solid foods. Basically the first rice-eating ceremony, in India, Annaprasana is celebrated across the length and the breadth of the country, called ‘choroonu’ in Kerala, ‘mukhe bhaat’ in Bengal, and ‘bhaatkhulai’ in the Garhwal hills.

In This Article

When is Annaprasana (अन्नप्राशन) Done?

Annaprasana is held when the child is around six months and before he turns one and also when the child is ready to convert his diet from liquid to solid. For boys, it is held on even months like a sixth or eighth month and for girls, it is held during odd months like a fifth or seventh month. As per the Grihyasutras, Annaprasana sanskar should be performed when the child is between six and seven months old, and not at all younger than 4 months.

If the child is weak, the ceremony can be performed later. However, this ceremony must be completed before a child’s first birthday – as it is not wise not to feed the child solids till then. A child who has sprouted his first set of teeth is ideal as it signifies that the little one’s stomach is ready to digest the food.

Where Is Annaprasana (अन्नप्राशन) Done?

Annaprasan Ceremony; where is done

Annaprasana is held at a temple or at home, a priest is called to conduct the ceremony and he recites religious rites and prayers and even a ‘havan’ is performed on this day, then the elder family member or child’s father then feeds the baby with the first solid food which is generally made of rice, ghee, and sugar or jaggery. In some cultures, a rice pudding known as Kheer is fed to the baby.

Common Annaprasana (अन्नप्राशन) Offerings

After this is done a fun-filled game is held, and certain objects are kept in front of the baby where each resembles or signifies something to do with the baby’s future. It is believed that the first object which is picked up by the baby symbolizes the baby’s future. So the objects that are placed are:

  • A pen –symbolizes wisdom
  • Some books – represent knowledge
  • Gold – symbolizes wealth
  • Some soil or clay- means property
  • Some food – represents the love for food

The baby is then encouraged or cheered to go and pick one of the items. Many jokes are cracked and many aspirations are formed. It is a proud moment for the parents as the baby has completed his transition from being a new born to an infant. The ceremony is then followed by lunch or dinner for family and close friends.

How To Celebrate Annaprasana (अन्नप्राशन)?

How To Celebrate Annaprasana (अन्नप्राशन)_

Here are a few tips so that the baby has a fun time with family and friends

  • Make sure your baby has enough sleep before the ceremony or have it in the morning after the baby’s bath.
  • On this day the clothes worn by your baby should be soft and comfortable. Avoid clothes with gems and stones, embroidery, or thread work. Dress according to season.
  • To avoid a crowded environment invite your close family and friends only.
  • Make sure you have enough baby wipes or handkerchief with you at all time to clean your child’s face, and hands or clean the tilak on the forehead to avoid it going in the eyes.
  • Strict hygiene must be followed like washing hands before feeding your baby and food should be freshly prepared.
  • Do not overfeed your child with sweets or other foods since it is the first time he/she has been introduced to solid foods. These foods can be heavy on the stomach and may cause indigestion.
  • Keep windows and doors open for ventilation.
  • Keep a separate room for your baby to play or rest when he/she is tired.
  • Ask your mom or any close relative whom your child knows or recognizes to help you out when you’re not around your child.
  • Keep your child’s favorite toy handy to cheer him when he cries or is down.

Read Also: Introducing Solid Foods For Kids


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Responses (8)

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madhusudhan reddy

Mar 16, 2017

If the baby have caught flowers on first time so is that baby will be in ?



Oct 24, 2016

Question : My son was born on 29th July 2016. So when is the annaprasanam date?


madhusudhan reddy

Mar 16, 2017

If the baby have caught flowers on first time so is that baby will be in ?



Oct 24, 2016

Question : My son was born on 29th July 2016. So when is the annaprasanam date?



May 25, 2016

:) Love to the little guy!



May 18, 2016

Yeah!(my experience) Even my baby boy touched the same one in his third attempt.. Now he is just three years old but is very sharp and intellectual.. His grasping power is very surprising.. Though his mother tongue is Telugu, speaks English words and repeats everything very fluently..



Mar 12, 2016

If the baby have caught the pen on third time so is that baby will be good in studies?


Swati C Sharma

Jul 18, 2015

Hi, There is no customary gift that can be given to the child, so you can opt for anything like a toy, dress, or even cash. Close family members do give silver/gold items like coins or Idols , commonly Ganesha, as this ceremony marks a new beginning in a child's life.


Caroline Birenbaum

Jul 17, 2015

Question: What kind of gifts are appropriate for an annaprasana? We have been invited to one and have not attended such an event before.



Apr 10, 2015

In India, we meant about all the rituals by a baby birth. Annaprashna is also a kind of indian vedic astrology riutual which is done to make your baby first rice feeding well.

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