In the olden days the baby was delivered at home with the help of a mid-wife and the new born baby was placed in the cradle on an auspicious day. With the change in the life style, delivery of baby takes place in a maternity hospital and the just born baby is placed in the cradle by the nurse within hours of delivery. However, this is not taken into account. Traditionally the cradle ceremony is celebrated on 11th day or 21st day from the day of delivery. Unlike traditional Hindu marriages and house-warming ceremony i.e grihapravesam, cradle ceremony need not be celebrated on an auspicious date / time (i.e sumuhurtham). However, it is ensured that the baby is not placed in the cradle when the time is inauspicious like 'durmuhurtam' / 'varjyam'.
Cradle ceremony need not compulsorily celebrated on the 11th or 21st day only but it can be celebrated according to convenience / on a convenient day till 3rd month. Traditionally, this is a social function when friends and relatives are invited to bless the newly born baby.
|New born baby Chi.Siddharth with his parents |
The baby is then gently placed in the cradle while the elderly ladies swing the cradle and sing classical lullaby songs. The other invitees then go in lines to bless the baby and place / give gifts to the baby. As this is a social get together, there is spread of fun and laughter in the air. Of course, there continues the photo / video session amidst the laughter which is followed by a sumptuous meal / lunch.
It's not mandatory to serve meals to the invitees but it's a matter of convenience / affordability. At the end of the function, the lady invitees are given 'tambulam' i.e betel leaves, betel nut, 1-2 seasonal fruits and 'pasupu' and 'kumkuma' (turmeric powder and vermilion which is optional).
And of course, the most awaited goodie bags filled with candies / toffees for the little guests who come along with their parents.