The birth of child is a very important event in any Hindu family. All family members want the birth of baby to be special and an auspicious event. And the event can be made auspicious by following all the birth rituals Hinduism. There are special Hindu rituals for birth, puberty, marriage and death. All these four landmark's in a person's life are marked by pertinent Hindu rituals.
The birth rituals in Hinduism are special because they span out for long periods of time. Some birth rituals in Hinduism are for a newborn baby. Others have to be followed when the child turns one year old. Every birth ritual in Hinduism marks a special cause. For example the rice ceremony or annaprasana is a scared introduction of the child to food.
Here are some of the most important birth rituals in Hinduism that most families follow.
Sweet As Honey
As soon as the baby is born, honey is poured into its mouth and ears (just a little bit symbolically). Honey stands for sweetness. And this Hindu ritual is to ensure that the child is sweet spoken also hears only sweet things.
Aarti: Welcome Home
When the child comes home for the first time with the mother, a symbolic 'tikka' is put on its forehead with kumkum. Aarti is also done with an oil lamp. The aarti and tikka are supposed to ward of all evils aspersions on the child.
On the naming ceremony or 'namkaran' of the child, a holy fire or 'havan' is lit up. A 'home' is performed to please all the Gods and then a letter from the Sanskrit alphabet is selected according to the child's 'rashi' or moon sign. The child's name must begin with this sacred letter so that his/her life can be very auspicious.
Rice ceremony is a sacred introduction of the child to solid food. Rice is considered holy by Hinduism because it is often offered to the Gods. The first bite of solid food is fed to the child by the elderly people in the family, usually the grandfather. The first time the baby chews food, it is with the blessings of all the elders in the family and also the Gods.
Mundan Or Head Shaving
The mundan ceremony is when the baby has his/her first haircut. According to Hindu tradition, the baby's head is shaved for the first time and the hair is offered to the Gods as a sacrifice.
These are some of the most important birth rituals in Hinduism. If we have missed any important ritual then you can add it via your comments.