Annaprashana

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Annaprashan offerings

The Annaprashana (Sanskrit: अन्नप्राशन, Annaprāśana, Bengali: অন্নপ্রাশন, Onnoprashon) also known as annaprashana vidhi, annaprasan or Anna-prasanam, is a Hindu rite of passage ritual (Saṃskāra) that marks an infant's first intake of food other than milk. The term annaprashan literally means "food feeding" or "eating of food".[1] The ceremony is usually arranged in consultation with a priest, who arranges an auspicious date on which to conduct the ceremony.

Annaprashana ceremony

Referred to in English as first feeding with rice,[2] the ceremony is usually carried out when the child is six to eight months old and the teeth have begun to appear, though it may be weaned at a later time.[3] It is an occasion for celebration, and extended family, friends and neighbours will be invited to attend. While many traditional works on dharma propose feeding the child meat, rice has become more common in modern times and symbolizes food in general.[1] Dayananda Saraswati proposed feeding the child cooked rice mixed with ghee, or with honey, curd and ghee.[4]

The Annaprashana, unlike many other Samskaras, remains an important ceremony in modern India.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lochfeld, James G. (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A-M. The Rosen Publishing Group. pp. 43–44. ISBN 9780823931798. 
  2. ^ Manu smṛti. 
  3. ^ Pandit, Bansi (2005). Explore Hinduism. Heart of Albion. p. 128. ISBN 9781872883816. 
  4. ^ Charran, Swami Ram. Garbhadhan Sanskar. Lulu.com. p. 133. ISBN 9781458324603. 

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