Annaprashan Ceremony: Significance, Food Offered and Puja Vidhi

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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

The puja is usually performed on a date and time in consultation with the priest. On the ceremony day, the baby gets dressed in new clothes, often in traditional attire such as a dhoti kurta or a lehenga choli. The Annaprashan ceremony starts with a havan or puja for the baby’s good health and happiness, and then, the symbolic feeding of the prasad or the first bite of solid food is followed. Generally, friends and relatives are invited to attend the ceremony. Then, after the religious ceremony, a fun game is played where a number of symbolic objects are placed on a banana leaf or silver tray and the baby has to pick one. His choice represents his area of interest in the future. So, let’s take a look at the items included: 
  • 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

There is a huge variety of food offered to the baby during the Annaprashan ceremony. Some of them given after the first bite of rice are as follows:
  • Fried rice or pulao
  • Kheer or payasam
  • Fish (for Non-vegetarians)
  • Meat dishes (for Non-vegetarians)
  • Dal, sambar or rasam

About DevDarshan

DevDarshan is a Devotional Platform for 5000+ Hindu Temples in the Indian Subcontinent.  This online platform facilitates online Daily Darshan, Pujas and digital donations for Devotees. Now, due to the present state of the pandemic, most of the temple houses have shifted to conducting online Annaprashan Puja for the convenience of the devotees. However, it becomes a bit of a hassle to connect to the Mandir priests to get the puja conducted. Dev Darshan can come to your rescue at that moment. Dev Darshan is a platform which provides a smooth interaction between the temple houses and the devotees without much worry and hassle. It also conducts online Pujas such as online Annaprashan Puja. So, check out the online services provided by Dev Darshan here and get your bookings done in one click.

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