Pregnancy and birth events belong to the history of humans. Baby showers go way back in history and were not today’s consumer events. In ancient India, the mother was given gifts in the form of fruits and other edibles that would help the child grow up. Over time this has changed, and its present shape is called the Godh Bharai. Continue reading to know the importance of Indian baby showers.
What is Godh Bharai Or Indian Baby Shower?
This ancient Indian tradition is like the notion of baby showers in the West. It is a celebration of the motherhood of the future and serves as a support system for women who are about to end their pregnancy. ‘Godh Bharai’ is a Hindi word that means ‘fill the lap.’
In various parts of the country, some other variants celebrated include:
Known as the Dohal Jeevan, the Marathi word is loosely translated as “to fulfill the craving for food.” As the name suggests, the food element of this ceremony is highlighted with nutritious foods, including rice and sweet chapati, which find their way to the menu. An exciting feature of this ceremony is the gender association with each meal that can be turned into a gender-based game of guessing.
During the seventh month of pregnancy, god bharai rasam is kept with close relatives. The mother-in-law plays a central role in putting a dupatta with fruits and coconuts on the lap of her daughter after prayers.
Known as the Godh Bharna, in the sense that the mother-in-law has a meaty role to play, it has some parallels to its Punjabi counterpart. On a furniture article known as the baajotth the mother is sitting cross-legged. Then the mother-in-law puts on her lap jewelry and other presents.
This is known as Shaad and focuses on delicious food during the last pregnancy month. A special feature of this event is that giving a gift to the baby is not encouraged because bad luck is expected to come.
5. Tamil Nadu
The mother-to-be, known as Valai Kappu, is decked up in a black saree with red and green bangles to guard unholy beings. Temples play a key role in the ritual of at least four separate visits to the temples.
Importance of Indian Baby Showers
Indian baby showers are a cultural development and need to be seen in their historical context. Pregnancies are relatively secure due to the advent of advanced medical technology and clinical treatment. And a century ago, this was not the case where there was a high death rate, with many women succumbing to different complications, such as heavy bleeding. Often, the last celebration for a woman was Godh Bharai, which is why prayer is a crucial part of the ceremony.
When Indian Baby Showers Is Performed?
India is an enormous nation and this ancient art of celebrating motherhood can’t be carried out in one way. For example, during the past month or pregnancy, the Nair community of Kerala did it. It is often done in the fifth month of pregnancy in neighboring Tamil Nadu, but it can be moved to 7 or even 9 months.
How Indian Baby Showers (Godh Bharai) is Performed?
- Prayers are an important component of most of the occasions in Godh Bharai with formal prayers and singing in unison.
- Dressing up is important, like every other day, and you’ll be dressed in traditional wear and decorated with flowers.
- The anointing oils have a special place in many parts of the world. You are always anointed by the senior women of the family.
- Without any fun, what good is a celebration? With the baby in mind, games are played which can range from guessing the gender to choosing a name.
- Singing and dancing are inseparable from Indian baby shower rituals.
- The mother still gets a certain amount of teasing. This is done in good humor, though, and nobody wants to hurt.
- Only female guests are permitted in certain parts of the world.
The womenfolk of the family along with your girlfriends will fill your lap with sweets and fruits, living up to the name of Godh bharai rasam.
- You will be made to sit in a position where your families and friends will come to bless you conveniently available.
- This baby shower’s gifting aspect is mother-centered and can include bangles, sarees, and other clothes. Many communities, including the Shaad, believe that gifts for the baby can come only once the baby is born.
The Rites and Rituals Involved
The expectant mother is showered with sarees, jewelry, money, and many blessings from the elderly for her child’s well-being. The elders also make various suggestions and recommendations to prepare the couple for this new responsibility. The mother’s clothes are the finest and jewelry-covers and her hands are designed to make her feel special.
One of the rituals includes whispering in the ears of the mother that her lap will be filled by a healthy, smiling, and lively baby very soon. The mother and the child would be well-pleased. Sometimes a priest is invited to sing mantras and conduct religious ceremonies to ensure a healthy baby arrives peacefully. All of the invited women applied Tikka to the forehead of their mothers to shield them from the evil forces, to pray for her and the child.
In southern India, a very traditional practice involves the plunging of holy grain into the water and the bathing of the mother there. A paste of banyan leaves is then poured into the right mother’s nose with a silk cloth to bless her with God.
During 7 or 9 months of pregnancy, this particular ritual takes place in the life of a Hindu married woman. The odd number of months was chosen to give the pregnant mother and baby good luck. However, the 7th month is the most common and easy, as the baby is now healthy and stable. The occasion is scheduled by the laws of the expectant woman at the end of the seventh month or at the beginning of the 8 months. Family and friends are welcomed to engage in this ritual. They are delighted to welcome the family member who will soon become the newest.
At a time when you are on the road to motherhood and need all the help of those around you, a baby shower is held. The celebration with your family and friends is an outstanding break from anxiety, insomnia, and digestive issues.
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