Are you pregnant and looking forward to lots of pampering and celebrations? Are you getting ready to celebrate your little one’s arrival soon? Do you want to host a celebration for him? Have you heard of the popular ceremony known as godh bharai that pregnant women take part in India?
If you simply want to know more about the ceremony or are looking for some Indian baby shower ideas, read our post.
Godh Bharai – The Traditional Indian Baby Shower Ceremony:
godh bharai is the Indian form of the hugely popular baby shower ceremony. Women celebrate it during any month of your pregnancy. The process honors your unborn child, marks his arrival to the family. It is also a celebration in which the elders of the family will bless you and share your joy and happiness of becoming a mother.
The term ‘godh bharai’ is a Hindi term and means ‘to fill the lap.’ The celebration is done in many parts of India and is known by various names according to the region. In the north, it is know
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When Does Godh Bharai Occur?
The exact time when godh bharai is celebrated depends on where you come from. In some parts of the country, godh bharai is celebrated when you complete the seventh month of your pregnancy. Many communities feel that once the mother has crosses her seventh month of pregnancy, both she and her baby will be in a safe phase. In some other communities, the godh bharai ceremony is performed once you complete your eighth month of pregnancy. There are still other communities who do not perform a godh bharai but instead have a special celebration once the baby is born.
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How Is The Godh Bharai Rasam Performed?
The exact rituals followed in a godh bharai celebration will differ depending on the state and community you belong to. However, the main objective of the ceremony is the same. It is celebrated to bless your unborn baby and to welcome the new arrival, and also bless you in your new journey as a mother (even if it is a consecutive pregnancy).
Here are a few aspects of the godh bharai ceremony that you may find being celebrated in your custom:
- As the mother-to-be, elderly women of the family will anoint you with special oils that are considered auspicious and good for you and your baby.
- You will most likely have to wear a traditional saree and may also need to dress up using flowers. The style of saree worn and the flowers used for the ceremony tend to differ depending upon the cultural practices your family follows.
- Before the formal festival begins, you and your partner need to sit for a small puja. Some communities allow the male partner to be present at the ceremonies while others do not any male relatives, even the father of the baby, to be present.
- In most communities, the godh bharai ceremony is strictly a women’s only celebration.
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- You may also have to dress up by wearing jewelry, especially ones that you wore in the wedding. In some communities, the godh bharai ceremony is celebrated with almost as much fanfare and dressing up as a wedding.
- You may have to wear various pieces of traditional Indian jewelry, like bangles and necklaces. Once you are adorned, you will be made to sit in a space where other women can easily come up to you and bless you.
- The women relatives from your family as well as any female friends will come up to you and fill your lap with various indian baby shower gifts, fruits, and other sweets. The women will ensure that your lap gets filled with all the gifts, referring to the name of the ceremony ‘godh bharai’ or ‘filling up the lap.’
- In most of the godh bharai celebrations, there will be a lot of singing and dancing along with a lot of teasing, and overall fun. The most common godh bharai gifts include bangles, clothes for the mother including dupattas or scarves or even cash. It is not the custom to give any gifts for the unborn baby during the godh bharai ceremony, as in most Indian families, gifts for the baby are bought only once the baby has been born.
- Most women try and play games during the godh bharai ceremony. Some very popular godh bharai games that women generally play are like guessing the unborn baby’s gender, recommending names for the unborn baby in a given time. All the Indian baby shower games are done in pure fun without the intention of offending anyone.
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