Celebrating a Baby’s First Solid Food: Annaprashan Muhurat 2023 and Traditions

Parents around the world celebrate many first-time milestones with their babies, and one of them is the Annaprashan ceremony. Annaprashan or annaprasana, a Sanskrit word for “food eating” or “food feeding,” marks the baby’s first solid food. In this ceremony, the baby is fed its first morsel of solid food, which is a ritual that prepares the baby for sustenance and a successful life on Earth. This tradition is celebrated in the Hindu way of life, and the entire family and all elders come together to witness and bless the baby for its future life.

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When is Annaprashan performed?

Annaprashan is performed anytime between six months to one year of the baby’s birth. It is usually done during the even months (the sixth or eighth month) for boys and during the odd months (the fifth or seventh month) for girls. This time frame is selected because the baby gains the strength to digest the cereals and rice. If the baby is found to be of weak disposition, the time can be postponed further.

Where can Annaprashan be performed?

Annaprashan can be done at home or in a temple. Most people prefer to perform the ceremony at home. Nowadays, due to space constraints, a banquet hall or a community center is usually booked for the function. In Kerala, most people prefer to perform the ceremony at Guruvayoor, a Hindu temple.

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Annaprashan Muhurat 2023

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Performing an auspicious task like Annaprashan requires calculating an auspicious time, known as “muhurat,” which is critical to possess optimal knowledge of time, date, planetary position, and nakshatras. The calculation of the muhurat can be performed using an Annaprasanam date calculator or by reaching out to Vedic astrologers who are good at reading the Vedic Panchang. Most people figure out the time to perform the ceremony based on the traditions of their clan.

How is Annaprashan performed?

When performing Annaprashan in line with Vedic Astrology practices, a specific day and time are selected by consulting a priest for performing the Annaprashan ceremony. Family, friends, and relatives are invited for the big day. The scale of the ceremony differs from one family to another. Some prefer to have an intimate gathering, while others may have it at a temple. The baby is bathed and clothed in new traditional clothes such as dhoti, dhoti kurta, or lehenga choli. The baby is then seated on an elder’s lap, like the father, paternal grandfather, maternal uncle, or maternal grandfather (differs from place to place). The ceremony begins with a puja. Oil lamps and incense sticks are lit to purify the atmosphere. Prayers are offered to various deities to ensure the child grows into a strong and well-spoken individual, thus making sure that the baby is primed for success.

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The baby’s relatives also pray for its fame, broad vision, and long and happy life. The ceremony’s purpose is to pray to the gods to bless the child with good thoughts, promising talents, and good digestive powers. The first offering is made to the gods and goddesses. This is followed by the symbolic feeding of the prasad or the first bite of solid food by the elder on whose lap the baby is seated. The other elders follow suit by blessing and offering a taste of the food to the baby. After the ceremony, the people gathered to join in for some fun and games, following which they treat themselves to a large feast. A fun game usually follows the religious ceremony, where several symbolic objects are placed on a banana leaf or silver tray. The baby is then let loose to pick. The item that the child first touches or picks signifies his prospects, which are as under –

  • books – learning
  • jewels – wealth
  • pen – wisdom
  • clay – property
  • food – love for food and feeding people
Family and friends have a fabulous time cheering the little one on as he/she makes a choice.

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What is served during the Annaprashan ceremony?

While the major item served during the ceremony is kheer, fried vegetables, dals, curries, and flavoured rice are also served. In Kerala, rice, curd, salt, jaggery, banana, and payasam are served to the baby on a banana leaf. Though this ceremony has been practiced since ancient times, certain precautions need to be taken while conducting this ceremony. Here are some ideas to help make this ceremony a special time that is also easy on the nerves.

  • Make sure your baby is well-rested before the ceremony
  • Limit the gathering to a few close family members and friends
  • Choose comfortable clothing for your baby, preferably from natural fabrics
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before feeding
  • Make sure that the baby’s food is prepared fresh and hygienically
  • Stick to a few essential items for the menu
  • Rice is a safe first food. If kheer is a miss, keep boiled rice or rice with dal as an offering
  • Make sure your baby does not eat more than two spoons of the offering to avoid an upset stomach
  • A box of sweets or dried fruits make great “thank you” gifts
  • Do not forget to record the occasion. Memories matter

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Importance of Annaprashan

In every stage of life, food is considered the essence. No matter who we are or what we are, we are nothing without food. We need food to develop physically and mentally. Our scriptures mention that purification of the body and the inner mind takes place through a pure diet. Through the ceremony of Annaprashan, the Goddess of food, Annapoorna is worshipped, and the parents pray for the child’s good health and prosperity. The child becomes robust and powerful. It is believed that a baby’s teeth start coming out from the sixth or seventh month, which indicates that the digestive process is strong. After this, if the child is fed solids along with milk, both the body and mind will develop optimally, thus ensuring a healthy child.

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List of Annaprashan Muhurat 2023/Feeding rice timings 2023

Annaprashan Muhurat January 2023

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
4-Jan-23  Wednesday 08.00 -10:00, 12.00 – 16:00
12-Jan-23  Thursday 16:15-18:00
23-Jan-23  Monday 08.00 -08:40, 10.30 -17:00
26-Jan-23  Thursday 08.00-11:30
27-Jan-23  Friday 10:20-11:30, 13:30-21:50

Annaprashan Muhurat February 2023

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
3-Feb-23  Friday 07:50-09:40, 11:30-16:30
10-Feb-23  Friday 09:30-14:00, 17.00 -23:00
22-Feb-23  Wednesday 07:30-09:40, 11:30-17:30
24-Feb-23  Friday 07:30-11:00, 13:30-20:00

Annaprashan Muhurat March 2023

9-Mar-23  Thursday 07:30-12:20, 15.10 -21:00
10-Mar-23  Friday 07:35-10:15
23-Mar-23  Thursday 7.00 -07:40, 09:50 -17.50
24-Mar-23  Friday 07.00 -09:15, 12.00 -15.00
27-Mar-23  Monday 18:25-20:10
31-Mar-23  Friday 09:15-15:20, 18.00 -22:00

Annaprashan Muhurat April 2023

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
6-Apr-23 Thursday 07:15-10:30
7-Apr-23 Friday 15:15-21:40
10-Apr-23 Monday 10:25-14:40
24-Apr-23 Monday 11:50-20:40
26-Apr-23 Wednesday 13:50-20:43
27-Apr-23 Thursday 07:45-13:40

Annaprashan Muhurat May 2023

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
3-May-23 Wednesday 07.00 -08:40, 11:15 -17:50
12-May-23 Friday 06:25-08:10
17-May-23 Wednesday 06:15-14:30, 17:10-22:50
22-May-23 Monday 07:45-09:25
24-May-23 Wednesday 07:30-11.40, 14:30-21:00
29-May-23 Monday 14.00 -16:10, 18:50-22:40

Annaprashan Muhurat June 2023

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
1-Jun-23 Thursday 16:15-18:20, 21.00 -22:30
8-Jun-23 Thursday 08:50-15:30, 8.00-20:00
19-Jun-23 Monday 21:40-23:10
21-Jun-23 Wednesday 06.00 -10:00, 12:30-17:00
28-Jun-23 Wednesday 09:50-16:30, 9.00 -22:30

Annaprashan Muhurat July 2023

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
5-Jul-23 Wednesday 07.00 -13:40, 16:15-22:00
7-Jul-23 Friday 09:15-15.40, 18:30-22:00
14-Jul-23 Friday 20.00 -21:30

Annaprashan Muhurat August 2023

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
21-Aug-23 Monday 06:30-10:40, 13:15-20:15
23-Aug-23 Wednesday 06:30-10:30
28-Aug-23 Monday 20:15-23:00

Annaprashan Muhurat September 2023

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
1-Sep-23 Friday 16:50-21:00
4-Sep-23 Monday 09:55-12:00
6-Sep-23 Wednesday 12:25-16:00
18-Sep-23 Monday 06:45-11:00
21-Sep-23 Thursday 15:30-17:00
25-Sep-23 Monday 07.00-08:00
27-Sep-23 Wednesday 08.00 -10:00, 13.00 -18:00

Annaprashan Muhurat October 2023

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
16-Oct-23 Monday 07:15-09:00, 12.00 -16:30
23-Oct-23 Monday 19:40-21:10
26-Oct-23 Thursday 13:25-17:00, 19:30-23:10

Annaprashan Muhurat November 2023

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
10-Nov-23 Friday 15:30-20:00
22-Nov-23 Wednesday 19:30-23:20
24-Nov-23 Friday 21:45-23:30
27-Nov-23 Monday 14:25-15:25
29-Nov-23 Wednesday 09.00-14:00

Annaprashan Muhurat December 2023

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
1-Dec-23 Friday 17.00 -23:00
7-Dec-23 Thursday 08.00 -12:00, 14.00 -18:00
15-Dec-23 Friday 11:55-17:40, 20:30-22:20
18-Dec-23 Monday 15:55-19:50
21-Dec-23 Thursday 11:15-14:00, 15:50-22:00
22-Dec-23 Friday 08.00 -09:15
28-Dec-23 Thursday 08.00 -12:00, 13:45-21:35
29-Dec-23 Friday 09.00 -13:20, 15:15-21:20

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In today’s fast-paced world, where traditional customs and practices are gradually disappearing, celebrating age-old ceremonies can play a significant role in reviving our cultural heritage. Such celebrations bring loved ones together, creating cherished memories that last a lifetime. It is crucial to preserve our traditions and maintain our roots, and performing ceremonies such as Annaprashan can help us achieve this goal. By keeping these rituals alive, we can ensure a firm foundation for our babies’ future while staying connected to our cultural legacy.

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