The joy of watching your child grow is considered one of the best times in life. And yes, Annaprasana is one of those memorable events in the life of all parents. As parents, we often want the best things to happen to our children: the best food, the best education, the best home, etc. Annaprasana puja is considered the first step towards great remarkable and memorable events for the life of a child. We pray to God to give the best things in life to our children on this day.
Annaprasana can be performed when the baby is 6 months to 1 year old. Usually, for boys, this ritual is performed at the sixth or eighth month. For the girls, this is done in the fifth or seventh month. This is considered the best time to perform this ritual because it is when the baby’s teeth start to appear and it is the perfect time for the baby to absorb all the nutrients from the solid foods that are essential for his/her growth.
As Annaprasana marks for the first time the event of rice consumption for the baby, this ritual is considered of great importance for parents and their families. This ritual is also an ancient tradition observed in South Asia, Iran and by the inhabitants of Parsi.
How to Perform Annaprasana at Home:
This ritual starts with Ganesh Puja followed by Navagraha Puja.
During the Puja, parents are advised to sit east with the baby on their lap.
Father should feed the baby three times by chanting mantras.
Finally, the puja would end with Jeevika Parikaha.
(Jeevika Parikaha is a ritual where various objects are placed on a banana leaf and the baby is invited to touch these objects. The first object touched would decide the interest and the future of the baby. These items usually include books, pens, money, jewelry, kumkum, haldi, and food.)