Several years ago my niece married into a Bengali family. She had a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony in the USA. This of course, could not have taken place without her family, including her sister with blue hair and Freitag bag.
She and her new husband and all the parents left for India a few months after her wedding and spent a month meeting all the relatives in India. She even had another ceremony over there.
She embraced her new family and their traditions. She was curious to learn all about them and incorporate their beliefs and rituals into her life.
Annaprashan is the Hindu ceremony celebrating a baby’s first solid food. It is also known as the Rice Eating Ceremony as baby’s first food is usually rice. The ceremony takes place when the baby is about 6 months. For girls it takes place in odd months – the 5th or 7th, while for boys it is even months the 6th or 8th.
The child is very dressed up reminiscent of a bride or groom. It is not only about the food but also serves as an introduction to society. Friends and relatives are invited to join in the celebration. A game is usually played after the ceremony where certain symbolic items are laid out in front of the child. Books symbolize learning; jewels symbolize wealth, a pen symbolizes wisdom, clay symbolizes property, and food symbolizing a love for food. The first item the child reaches for indicates their future.
My niece rented a hall for her baby’s Annaprashan. They invited all their friends and relatives. She wanted to wear traditional clothing and she wanted her baby to also wear a beautiful sari. Living in the middle of the USA, it was difficult for her to find a sari for her baby so she made one herself.
That got her thinking. If she had so much trouble finding something beautiful for her child to wear to the ceremony, other people might have the same problem. There is a large Indian community in this country. Wouldn’t there be a market for baby saris?
Well, she is about to find out. She just launched her Sari Baby website. My great niece is the very cute model for these beautiful silk saris.
Check it out!