September 23, 2011 in Hindu Rituals
Valaikappu Meaning – Valaikappu, also known as Seemanthan is a ritual performed during the odd months (preferably seventh or ninth) of pregnancy. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fanfare across the southern part of India. The event celebrates the essence of upcoming motherhood and also ensures the welfare of both the mother and the fetus inside her womb.
Legend of Valaikappu
The ceremony of Valaikappu is performed to please the deity Raka, who is known to bestow the pregnant women with good health and a fruitful pregnancy. The insinuations are that, after performing this ‘Sanskara’, the child is born with sharp intellect and beauty. In certain parts of South India, a Neem tree is worshiped as part of Valaikappu rituals.
Rituals of Valaikappu
A full moon day is considered auspicious for the Valaikappu ceremony. The pregnant girl takes bath in the morning and wears a new saree bought especially for this day. Her mother-in-law takes her to a nearby temple and she buys bangles of her choice from a bangle store. These days, bangle sellers are invited at home and ladies buy colorful glass bangles from them. Customarily, the would-be mother is adorned with the bangles which she puts on till delivery. After that those bangles along with other gifts are offered to the midwife. After dressing up, she sits on a wooden plank and her mother arranges bangles in one hand and mother-in law in other hand. Odd number of bangles is placed in left hand and even numbers in right hand. The girl is treated with all her favorite foods. Invitees offer gifts to the girl and participate in the gala feast arranged for them.
Significance of Valaikappu
Valaikappu is the ceremony to show care and concern to a would-be mother and pray for the well-being of the unborn child. The ceremony is an Indian form of Baby shower celebrated by Christians.