I had an Iyengar style Seemantham ceremony. It is a traditional baby shower function that is conducted around the fifth month of pregnancy. I was quite excited because it was my big function after all the covid lockdowns. Here is how the ceremony went.
We had to get a bunch of stuff like flower garlands, turmeric, etc and keep all the required garments ready. My mother in law took care of the planning, venue and the priests.
We woke up at 5 am and had a shower, did Aarathi and nalungu
- Aarathi- Done to ward off evils
- Nalungu- Applying haldi on feet and hands. Due to its antiseptic properties
The previous night I was up seeing various youtube videos on how to tie madisaar .I very proudly tied madisaar saree on my own finally.
We left for the mandapam at 6 am. The mandapam was attached to a temple. The stage was nicely decorated, in a red background with marigolds.
Udagasanthi was the first of the ceremonies. There were 7 priests seated in front of the stage. They started the chants. Me and my husband sat down in front of the various pooja items. They chanted the entire book they held in hand. My husband performed the rituals. After an hour it was time for the water ablution.
They made me sit in a chair and did aarathi again. They gave me turmeric powder to apply on myself. The priests poured ice cold water on me. I was in shock and almost out of breath. Then they poured warm water on it. I got soaking wet. This was apparently good for the baby inside.
I was given 15 minutes after this to change into a new saree. That was quite a challenge. I was in such a hurry, because the next ritual had already started. In all the hurry I tied the saree wrongly. A manni helped me tie the saree in the right way. I ran to the next function. It was a homam ceremony
Homam- Fire ceremony where you pour ghee into the fire and pray.
It took place for hardly half an hour, Then they asked for the seemantham saree. My mom went and got it. They told me to change into it.
Here goes! I went again and tied a silk saree into a madisaar. I looked bloated. The homam went on for a while. Then they got me on stage. And made me sit in the center. A few ladies got a saree and covered me from all sides. The priest made a concoction of a flower that has womb strengthening properties. He put three drops of it into my nose. Then my husband had to wave a porcupine needle over my tummy ; Said to help baby turn into right position (Cephalic).
After all this we sat down for more pooja. After a long session, we finally moved to the gifts.
One by one, they came in and gave gifts and we thanked them. Then started the photosession.
By this time I went in and changed the madisaar to a normal saree for easy movement. We photographed with everyone. The Bakshanam(Sweets and snacks) was on display- Oversized murukus and sweets.
We had arranged for lunch for guests. We went to have a good meal.
The meals were just delicious. They had included every possible kootu, poriyal.
We went to pack our bags. There were a ton of flowers, sweets, pooja items, accessories, sarees. We went home around 2 PM. Took a while to reel from all the pooja haze.
All in all it was a great ceremony. Baby kicked a lot too. !! 😛