Annaprashnam

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Annaprashanam is the third Samskara of a child and it directly translates to “Feeding of Rice”. The first time consumption of rice, of a child is considered an important part in its health and longevity. Rice (Annam) beholds the Prana Shakti which is essential for longevity and energy sustenance.

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Significance

Annaprashanam has its origin in the Vedic period. This ceremony is celebrated between six to nine months as the new born child gets ready to move to solid food Some of important rites of this sacred ritual are :

  • offering is made to the gods and goddesses for the health, success and longevity of the child dressed in beautiful new traditional clothes is seated on the lap of their maternal uncle who feeds the first bite of the solid meal.
  • oil lamps are lit along with incense sticks
  • the other members of the family feed the child a spoonful of the food, which is usually served in
    a silver plate and spoon

Across the Hindu community this is scared and one of the most important ceremony/ritual, which is the phase when the newborn starts to consume solid food. This is one festival which is celebrated with lot of celebration and fervour within the families and friends within all communities. Amongst the Bengali community this is known as “mukhe bhaat”, the Malayali community calls it as Chorunaal, in Gharwal this ritual is Bhaatkhulai.

Benefits

  • Blessings of Ayurdevi and Kula-Devatha
  • Consumption of solid food helps the child’s digestive system
  • Prayers for planetary remedies are made

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