Many Hindu customs and traditions are rituals related to religious observances known as samskaras (sacraments). Annaprasan (AHN-a-PRA-shon) is the “first feeding” ceremony or “rice ceremony” for Hindu children. The annaprasan ceremony formally marks the baby’s transition from milk to a solid diet. The child will be dressed in traditional garb; gifts are sometimes given for the baby. Generally, the ceremony involves the baby receiving his or her first taste of solid food from his maternal grandfather, a short ceremony for the baby’s future, a “puja” or religious ritual, and then a feast for the adults. The details of the ceremony vary among sub-cultures; Nilakash’s annaprasan ceremony will be a modified version of the Bengali ceremony.
Annaprasan can be a large or small gathering; we have asked you, as members of our natal and extended families, to join us at this important event in Nilakash’s life. At the beginning of his ceremony, Nilakash will be fed small amounts of “adult” food including rice (“anna” is the Sanskrit for “rice”) and fish (suitably prepared for baby palate and teeth, of course!) by maternal uncles and grand-uncles. After this first feeding, Nilakash will be given a tray carrying various items (such as a pen, a coin, and a book) representing different crafts and occupations. It is believed that the article that he touches first indicates his future occupation.
After the ceremony, the room will be set up for a buffet luncheon from Amber India.
The ceremony will begin at noon on January 20t. It will take place in the Fireside Room of the Lucie Stern Community Center. There is parking available in the parking lot next to the building.
Charming and reasonable accommodations can be had at:
If you need transportation to the event, please let us know; we’d be happy to arrange a ride for you with one of our local guests. And of course, if you have any questions, please call or contact us at the following web address (please put an @ sign in place of “at,” a period in place of “dot” and remove all the numbers to get the correct address)
We look forward to seeing you all! Avrom and ina