When a new baby is born, there are many things and rituals that parents perform to ensure the safety and well-being of their little ones. From the time of a baby’s conception, parents also experience a number of novel things – from the baby’s first kick to hearing its heartbeat at the doctor’s clinic. These form the core memories of parents, even before the baby is born.

After childbirth, there are many first-time milestones that parents experience with their baby – first sounds, first step, first word, and of course, the first morsel of solid food, a ritual that prepares the baby for sustenance and successful life on Earth. The transition from a liquid diet to solids is one that no parent would want to miss, and it is celebrated all over the country in a ceremony known as Annaprashan.

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‘Annaprashan’ or ‘annaprasana’ is the Sanskrit word for ‘food eating’ or ‘food feeding’. It marks the beginning of solid food in a baby’s life. This ceremony is a famous traditional ceremony celebrated in the Hindu way of life. Since the baby is the newest member of a family and beloved to everyone, the ritual is celebrated in the presence of the entire family and all the elders who come together to witness this momentous occasion and bless the baby for its future life.

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The baby is given its first solid food after being on an all-milk diet for the first few months after its birth. Following this ceremony, the baby will start eating semi-solids and other nourishing items, in addition to milk. This tradition is followed in many parts of the country under different names. Only slight variations in customs and rituals are seen. It is known as Mukhe Bhaat in Bengal, Bhaatkhulai Rasm in Garhwah Hills, and Choroonu in Kerala. In this article, you can find the Annaprashan Muhurat 2022, along with all the traditions and rituals which mark the celebration.

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Importance of Annaprashan Muhurat 2022

It is an age-old tradition to calculate an auspicious time, known as ‘Muhurat’, before performing any auspicious task. To find the right muhurta, it is critical to possess optimal knowledge of time, date, planetary position, and nakshatras. Starting any essential activity after knowing the right muhurta brings you abundant success in that particular task/project. The calculation of the muhurta is performed using either the Annaprasanam date calculator or by reaching out to Vedic astrologers who are good at reading the Vedic Panchang. Most people often figure out the time to perform the ceremony based on the traditions of their clan.

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When is Annaprashan performed?

Annaprashan, or the rice feeding ceremony, is performed anytime between six months to one year of the baby’s birth. It is usually performed during the even months- the sixth or the eighth month for boys and during the odd months- the fifth or the seventh month for girls. This time frame is selected since the child gains the strength to digest the cereals and rice. If the baby is found to be of a 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 perform the ceremony at home. In the present times, owing to space constraints, a banquet hall or a community centre is usually booked for the function. In Kerala, most people prefer to perform the ceremony at Guruvayoor, a Hindu temple.

How is Annaprashan performed?

According to Vedic Astrology, 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.

The baby’s fame, broad vision, and long and happy life are also prayed for. 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.

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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. The objects, along with their significance, include:

  • books – learning
  • jewels – wealth
  • pen – wisdom
  • clay – property
  • food – love for food and feeding people
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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?

Apart from the kheer, fried vegetables, dals, curries, and flavoured rice are served during the ceremony. 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.

Why is Annaprashan important?

Food is considered the essence of life. 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.

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List of Annaprashan Muhurat 2022/Feeding rice timings 2022

Annaprashan Muhurat 2022 for January

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
05 January Wednesday 07:15 14:06
06 January Thursday 12:30 14:02

Annaprashan Muhurat 2022 for February

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
02 February Wednesday 08:31 14:11
03 February Thursday 10:37 14:07
07 February Monday 07:06 13:51
10 February Thursday 11:08 13:40
14 February Monday 07:01 13:24

Annaprashan Muhurat 2022 for March

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
04 March Friday 06:44 14:28
09 March Wednesday 08:31 13:42
18 March Friday 06:28 12:47

Annaprashan Muhurat 2022 for April

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
06 April Wednesday 06:06 14:38
11 April Monday 06:00 06:51
14 April Thursday 09:56 14:07

Annaprashan Muhurat 2022 for May

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
04 May Wednesday 05:38 07:33
06 May Friday 09:20 12:33

Annaprashan Muhurat 2022 for June

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
01 June Wednesday 05:24 13:00
10 June Friday 05:23 07:26
30 June Thursday 13:26 15:57

Annaprashan Muhurat 2022 for July

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
01 July Friday 05:27 15:53
06 July Wednesday 05:29 11:42

Annaprashan Muhurat 2022 for August

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
04 August Thursday 05:44 15:58
10 August Wednesday 09:39 14:16
12 August Friday 05:49 07:06
29 August Monday 05:58 14:20

Annaprashan Muhurat 2022 for September

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
01 September Thursday 05:59 14:08
05 September Monday 08:28 13:52
08 September Thursday 06:03 13:41
30 September Friday 06:14 14:18

Annaprashan Muhurat 2022 for October

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
05 October Wednesday 06:16 12:01
07 October Friday 07:27 13:51
27 October Thursday 12:10 12:45
28 October Friday 06:30 10:34
31 October Monday 06:33 13:59

Annaprashan Muhurat 2022 for November

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
03 November Thursday 06:35 13:47
28 November Monday 06:54 13:35
30 November Wednesday 06:56 08:59

Annaprashan Muhurat 2022 for December

Date Day Duration of the Muhurat
02 December Friday 06:57 13:20
08 December Thursday 07:02 09:38
29 December Thursday 11:45 12:59

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In the hustle and bustle of today’s world, where traditions and culture seem to disappear quietly, a celebration of such traditional ceremonies helps revive our rich culture and heritage. Friends and family are brought together, and memories are made forever. After all, there is nothing more important than remembering our traditions and staying true to our roots, and this ceremony is a way of keeping rituals alive while creating a solid future for your baby.

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