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    Know all about Annaprasan ceremony of your baby and how to celebrate it.  

    Written on 20 June 2019

    Annaprasan- (First Solid Food Eating Ceremony)

    What is Annaprasan?

    An important and popular Hindu custom, Annaprasan meaning ‘grain initiation’ marks the start of solid food for the baby from the liquid diet that he was consuming till now. It is generally celebrated when the baby is around 6 months of age, though in different regions it can be performed between 6 months to 1 year. Known by many different names across the country, it is a joyous occasion for the family and is celebrated whole-heartedly. While it is generally done at home, many parents these days celebrate it in an outside venue or temple with lots of guests being invited.

    How is it performed?

    Annaprasan is conducted at an auspicious time chosen in consultation with a priest or astrologer. The baby is dressed in new clothes and made to sit in the lap of maternal uncle who feeds the baby with his first bit of solid food. Though in many regions, other elder family members may also give the first bite. After the first bite, other family members and relatives feed the baby with small bites and also give him gifts. A variety of food items are prepared for the baby and different things are fed by different family members.

    Next comes the fun and the interesting part wherein different objects like gold, money, pen, books, food, soil etc. are placed in front of the baby and he is encouraged to pick one. It is believed that the object picked first by the baby indicates his life interests and future. For example, picking gold or money means he will earn lots of money, books mean he will be learned and well qualified and other items signify different things.

    Tips for a safe and happy Annaprasan ceremony

    • Food and hand hygiene is a must before and during the ceremony as the baby being very young can be prone to infections and allergies.

    • Make sure the baby is well slept and rested before the ceremony so that he doesn’t get irritated and restless during the function.

    • Only feed very small bites to the baby and do not try to force feed him if he resists any food items.

    • The baby should be dressed in soft and comfortable clothes.

    • Make sure the venue is well ventilated so that the smoke from rituals or havan gets cleared fast.

    Annaprasan is a wonderful step in your baby’s life, so go ahead and celebrate it with gusto but also safely.

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