The birth of a child in a family is an occasion that brings joy and happiness to everyone associated with the family. The first thing that comes to mind after the birth of a child is choosing an apt name for him/her. This name would give a unique identity to the baby and will stay forever. Naming a baby is considered to be sacred and therefore is an important Indian tradition. It involves the immediate families and also close relatives and friends. Traditionally known as Namkaran or Namakaran Sanskar, this ceremony is conducted in an elaborate form.
The Namakaran Sanskar is usually held after the first 10 days of a baby's delivery. These 10 post-natal days are considered to be inauspicious as the mother and child are considered to be impure. After those 10 days, the house is cleaned and sanctified for the ceremony. The mother and child are bathed traditionally and are prepared for the ceremony. Relatives and close friends are invited to be a part of this sacred occasion and bless the child. Priests are called and an elaborate ritual takes place.
The people involved in the baby naming ceremony are the parents of the new born, the paternal and maternal grandparents and few close relatives and friends. The child is dressed in new clothes and the mother wets the head of the baby with a bit of water as a symbol of purifying the child. The baby is then handed over to the paternal grandmother or the father who sits near the priest during the ritual. The sacred fire is lit and the priest chants sacred hymns to invoke the Gods in the heaven to bless the child.
According to the date and time of birth of the child, a particular alphabet is chosen which would prove lucky for the baby. The baby is then given a name starting with that alphabet. Usually the father whispers the name four times in the right ear of the baby. The baby receives blessings from all, including the priests. An elaborate feast is organized for the priests and the guests, as a closing event of the ceremony.