Isn’t it a great, emotional feeling when your baby girl starts eating solid food instead of the liquids she was heavily dependent on till now? For every parent, each day is a blessing after their angel is born, but this particular day holds a special mention as it is celebrated hugely. Annaprashan for baby girls is a ceremony held to celebrate the day when a baby girl transitions from a liquid diet to a solid one. This article will give you all the insight you need in organizing Annaprashan for baby girls and making the ceremony a grand event!
Annaprashan is a Sanskrit word, which means ‘Grain Initiation’. It is also referred to as ‘Rice Ceremony’. As mentioned earlier, this marks the day when the baby girl, who has been breastfeeding till now, is given solid food to eat. Annaprashan for baby girl is a huge event in some parts of India, as it’s a milestone in her journey.
According to some experts, Annaprashan for baby girl is celebrated in the odd months, that is, 5th, 7th, 9th, or 11th month after the birth of the female offspring. however, generally, it has been seen that people celebrate Annaprashan during the 5th or the 7th month.
Annaprashan for baby girl is normally celebrated in a temple or at home. However, Annaprashan for a baby girl born in 2021 may see a trend of being celebrated in banquets or hotels, where people can get together but also maintain a safe distance to ensure corona precautions. Annaprashan is performed in temples so that the little piece of the heart can get the blessings of the deity along with the priest.
Annaprashan for baby girls is celebrated after consulting the priest about the date and time. The house is decorated beautifully for the Annaprashan ceremony. In fact, one can find professionals nowadays who are experts in Annaprashan decoration. Parents can also search for Annaprashan decoration ideas online.
A special baby girl Annaprashan dress is also specifically selected for the occasion by the parents. This is also called the ‘rice ceremony dress for baby girls’ as parents mostly serve rice to the child. The rituals may differ from state to state, as the traditions differ according to communities across India.
In West Bengal, the ceremony is called Mukhe Bhaat, which literally means ‘rice in your mouth’. According to the rituals being carried out for years, the ceremony is held at the baby girl’s maternal house, where she is made to sit on her Mama’s (maternal uncle) or dada’s (maternal grandfather) lap and is fed the first grain of rice.
The celebration includes praying to the family deity, and other Gods & Goddesses, for well- being of the child & her prosperity. Respects are also paid to the ancestors for their continuous blessings on the child.
Annaprashana Decorations: Whether it’s Annaprashana Decorations at home or outside, a cloth is spread on the floor, which is called ‘Ashon‘. Lamps are lit around the area, since lighting a lamp is considered auspicious. Incense sticks are also burned to purify the home or the place where Mukhe Bhaat is being held.
Annaprashana Dress for Baby Girl: The baby girl is dressed up like a bride, in the finest of attire. Wearing traditional dress, jewelry and flower ornaments, and cute make-up, she dazzles with the glow on her face, the innocent radiance, and the beauty she beholds!
Rice Ceremony/ Mukhe Bhaat Food: The food that has been prepared for the Annaprashan ceremony is presented on silverware, that is, silver plates, bowls, cups, and spoon. A multi-course meal is generally prepared to make the event a grand one. The course normally includes:
After the mama or dada has fed her the first morsel, other family members too can take turns to feed the little angel. It has also been seen that she is given blessings by showering Dhaan (paddy grains) and Dubba (green grass stalks) on her.
Fun games are also played during the Annaprashana dress for baby girl, during which, the little munchkin is presented with Annaprashana items for the baby girl. These items are symbolic in nature and represent her future, according to traditions.
These are some of the Annaprashana items for baby girl:
In Kerala, the Annaprashan ceremony is called ‘Choroonu’, where ‘Choru’ means rice, and ‘Oonuku‘ refers to eating. The ceremony can be performed by the maternal uncle, grandfather, or father.
Annaprashana dress for baby girl: The baby girl is dressed in ‘kasavu mundu’, a traditional attire, which is cream-colored and has a golden zari border. She is made to sit on the family member’s lap (the one who is performing the pooja) and given various offerings like sandal paste, flowers, tulsi leaves, etc by the priest.
Food for Annaprashan for Baby Girl: Traditionally, families prepare plain rice, curry, and payasam. This food is first offered to the Lord on a plantain leaf. Then it is fed to the girl, which completes the ceremony. It is believed that the food offered to the Lord should be shared among all the family members as a mark of His blessings. Families also donate food, called Annadanam, before or after this ceremony.
Like in West Bengal, here too a similar fun game is played with the baby girl, which denotes her future direction. Similar items are used like currency/jewelry to denote wealth, book, pen, or clay/soil.
Annaprashan For Baby Girl in the Garhwal hills of Himachal; Pradesh is called ‘Bhat Khulai‘, where ‘bhat’ means rice and ‘khulai‘ means eating. The process remains mostly the same.
Annaprashan ceremony is extremely close to the hearts of the parents and other family members. It is therefore of absolute importance that the ceremony is held without any hiccups or problems. Considering the baby girl is only a few months old, it becomes of paramount consequence that her health and interests are well taken care of. We at www.beingtheparent.com request all the parents to be extra careful during the ceremony, for which they can ensure a safe and memorable event.
Annaprashan is one of the most celebrated events by the parents as they wait for the day for months when their darling daughter can start having solid food. Needless to say, they make a lot of arrangements for the day, which involves rituals, food, and fun. It is therefore imperative that all the ‘muhurat’ is pre-decided. Here are some of the auspicious dates and times that are favorable for Annaprashan For Baby Girl in 2021. However, since these are based on planetary movements and ‘Nakshatras’, it is always advisable to check with your priest/pandit before finalizing the day.
|14 January 2021||Thursday||From 09:02 Till 13:29|
|15 January 2021||Friday||From 07:15 Till 13:25|
|18 January 2021||Monday||From 07:43 Till 09:14|
|20 January 2021||Wednesday||From 07:14 Till 13:06|
|22 February 2021||Monday||From 06:53 Till 10:58|
|25 February 2021||Thursday||From 06:51 Till 13:17|
|15 March 2021||Monday||From 06:31 Till 13:44|
|24 March 2021||Wednesday||From 06:21 Till 10:24|
|19 April 2021||Monday||From 05:52 Till 16:04|
|13 May 2021||Thursday||From 05:32 Till 14:29|
|14 May 2021||Friday||From 05:31 Till 14:25|
|17 May 2021||Monday||From 05:29 Till 11:35|
|24 May 2021||Monday||From 11:12 Till 16:02|
|23 June 2021||Wednesday||From 05:24 Till 07:00|
|24 June 2021||Thursday||From 13:50 Till 16:20|
|15 July 2021||Thursday||From 05:33 Till 07:16|
|16 July 2021||Friday||From 06:06 Till 14:53|
|22 July 2021||Thursday||From 05:37 Till 12:45|
|11 August 2021||Wednesday||From 09:32 Till 15:23|
|13 August 2021||Friday||From 05:49 Till 13:43|
|20 August 2021||Friday||From 05:53 Till 14:54|
|08 September 2021||Wednesday||From 06:03 Till 13:40|
|09 September 2021||Thursday||From 06:03 Till 13:36|
|13 September 2021||Monday||From 06:05 Till 08:23|
|16 September 2021||Thursday||From 06:07 Till 09:37|
|08 October 2021||Friday||From 06:18 Till 13:46|
|15 October 2021||Friday||From 06:22 Till 13:18|
|18 October 2021||Monday||From 10:49 Till 13:06|
|20 October 2021||Wednesday||From 07:41 Till 12:59|
|10 November 2021||Wednesday||From 08:25 Till 13:18|
|11 November 2021||Thursday||From 06:41 Till 06:50|
|08 December 2021||Wednesday||From 07:02 Till 12:56|
|10 December 2021||Friday||From 07:03 Till 12:48|
|13 December 2021||Monday||From 07:05 Till 12:36|
It is said that 16 rites are mentioned in the Hindu scriptures and Annaprashan is one of them. In fact, it, reportedly, holds the seventh position and therefore, ensuring that the date, day, and time are deemed crucial. We would request all the parents to confirm the same with their priest or astrologer so that he can assess the baby’s birth chart, along with the placement of the planets and nakshatras to set aside a date.
India is a land of diverse cultures and beliefs. It is therefore natural that every ritual has a single or multiple legends attached to it. One of the mythological tales attached to Annaprashan goes back to Mahabharata, when Bhishma Pitamah was lying on the bed of arrows and Pandavas were paying respects to him. During one of his sermons on life lessons and ‘Dharma’, Draupadi started laughing. When asked the reason for this by Bhishma Pitamah, Draupadi asked him why he or anyone else rose and spoke about the same when she was being violated in front of the whole court during Cheer Haran?
Responding to this, Bhishma Pitamah said that at that time he was having food served by the Kauravas, and therefore, his mind got contaminated. He added that it was Arjuna’s arrows that not just pierced through him that day on the battlefield, but also shred his malicious intent. And that is the reason he was back on the path of ‘Dharma’.
Annaprashan, therefore, is of significant importance, because, according to this myth, the ceremony purifies all the things the baby may have consumed while in the uterus and helps in her further growth. It symbolizes that if one consumes pious food, the person’s mind will also remain pious and will not lead a life of negativity. It is also believed that since a child starts teething after she turns six or seven months old, therefore, she should start having solid food for the growth of mind and body.
Annaprashan For Baby Girl is one of the most anticipated moments in the lives of the parents, memories of which are cherished life-long. We hope all the parents enjoy this day to the fullest and have a fulfilling day. We at Being the Parent would love to know how you celebrated your baby girl’s Annaprashan. Do write to us and send pictures, we will make sure to share them with all our readers! Happy Annaprashan!