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Festivals & celebrations plays a vital part in all cultures across the world. It’s the time when people get together and start enjoying their lives truly. The major components of any celebration are special food, clothing, music and rituals. Celebrating the holidays or functions with family also gives a glimpse of our rich customs and traditions to the younger generation. It’s a convenience to carry forward the legacy. Don’t miss such an opportunity and here we give you a list of moments to celebrate with family if you are an Indian who lives abroad in the USA.
Reasons to celebrate!
To celebrate means to create memories and traditions, to remind us of milestones, to build a sense of community building, to welcome future possibilities and to foster a mindset of gratitude. From birth till death there are numerous reasons to celebrate like naming ceremony or cradle ceremony or Namkaran or Nama Karanam or Namakaran or Namakarana Sanskar or Nwaran, Annaprashan or Annaprasanam, Upanayana or Sacred thread ceremony or yajnopavitam, Vidyarambam or Akshara abhyasam, Dhoti and Half saree ceremony. For all these celebrations friends and family get together and bless the children while they enjoy observing how these kids grow. But when they come to visit us when we are the host, naturally taking care of the guests and being hospitable is a must. For that you will have to think about giving the best return gifts when such ceremonies are conducted in your homes, isn’t it?
Various Indian Ceremonies & Your Favorite Sweets As Return Gifts For Them
Naming Ceremony / Namkaran / Cradle Ceremony
The first ever function held after child birth leaving alone the baby showers and gender reveal party is the naming ceremony which is normally held on the 10th, 12th, 16th day from the birth or on the 3rd, 5th, 7th or 9th month for girls and 6th or 8th month for girls. The purpose of celebrating this naming ceremony also called as namkaran or nama Karanam or namakaran or namakarana sanskar is to welcome the child as a new member to the family, explaining the reason why they named the child so, say, the meaning of the name kept for the child is revealed, it also helps publicize that a new member – baby boy or girl is added to the family. Normally they read a poem explaining why the child was named so and arrange for the best types of food for the guests. All the guests will be sent home with sweetest return gifts – Indian desserts, which will be more interesting for another month’s time when they enjoy consuming the tastiest and yummiest food they like. Order online for traditional sweets and snacks from Sitara Foods.
Annaprashan in Sanskrit means “rice or grain initiation”. It is your baby’s first rice-eating ceremony which is held from olden days in India. As baby’s depend on mom’s breast milk from the day one they are born, then on cereals and pulses like ragi & dhal, vegetables and fruits later eating rice becomes almost a grand function. It signifies the next step in the baby’s growth taking place between 9 months and 12 months. Babies below 4 months and above 1 year will not undergo this ritual in those days. Even now the same tradition is followed. They invite all family and friends, arrange for a large venue, fresh food & catering services and celebrate it grandly even while living abroad in countries like USA. Priests will also be invited to chant the Annaprashan mantra at an auspicious time that is chosen for the occasion. The guests will be given return gifts and that would always be sweets & snacks varieties. If you are living in Texas, California, New York or Texas, then also no worries you can order online for the freshly, hand-made, traditional sweets from us.
Sacred Thread Ceremony or Upanayanam
It is an essential ceremony conducted for boys and it means that he is born again when this ceremony is done. He accepts a spiritual teacher as father and vedas as mother for the next time after he has been born to his parents for the first time. He also receives a spiritual name after this ceremony. This sacred thread which they put for him on this auspicious day is forever worn by him. It may be replaced in between but never leaves him till death. Though nowadays the brahmachari life is not given importance mostly the father himself performs the ceremony and emphasizes on secular education instead. So even if you stay in the USA you shall perform such rituals to keep your children in contact with tradition and heritage.
Aksharabhyasam / Vidyarambam
Educating children is the sole responsibility of the parents. But the starting of education is goddess Saraswati and her blessings is a must to flourish. So, as parents want all their children to be the best always, they can start the child’s life with a ceremony named vidyarambam. It is a tradition followed to introduce young children into the world of learning new things be it art or science. The child is made to write on a tray filled with rice “Om Hari Sree Ganapathye Namaha”. This is done like a grand function inviting all friends and family members to whom you can give sweets as party favors.
In whichever part of the world you live remember that “Tradition is not the worship of ashes but the preservation of fire” – Gustav Mahler, an Austro-Bohemian romantic composer. Try to preserve your tradition even if you live in the USA.