The joy and anticipation of becoming a parent is immense and it starts from the time the parents discover they are expecting with the celebrations starting even before the baby’s arrival with the baby shower or Godh Bharai as it is called in Hindi.
India being a nation of many cultures, each region and culture has its own way of celebrating all occasions. The occasion might be the same, but the celebration, attire, food, and festivities completely different. In most parts of India, the Baby shower is celebrated after the completion of the seventh month of pregnancy. Godh Bharai translates into filling the lap with abundance and that is what the baby shower celebration aims to do, fill the lap of the expecting mother with an abundance of gifts and blessings for her and the baby’s health and the safe delivery of the baby.
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Traditional Baby Shower In India
Pregnancy and the baby’s birth has long been celebrated in Indian culture. Godh Bharai is a common ceremony in Northern parts of India and is mainly celebrated by the elder women in the family. These traditional celebrations have a charm of their own. The ceremony is conducted at an auspicious time and is often officiated by a priest. It is celebrated in accordance with the customs of the mother-to-be’s family and is typically attended by only the female family and friends.
Godh Bharai ceremony is organised by the close female relatives or friends of the mother-to-be, either her mother, sister or aunt. The venue for the celebration is beautifully decorated. The mother-to-be is dressed in new clothes and jewellery for the ceremony. She is seated prominently and is showered with gifts and blessings by her women friends and family. Foods that would aid the mother’s health and the baby’s development are prepared, music to please the baby’s ears is played as it was long believed that babies could hear in-utero. She also receives a lot of gifts which help her prepare for the baby’s arrival.
The Modern Baby Shower
With the rise of the nuclear family and the advent of western culture and television, traditional ceremonies are now giving way for the more modern baby shower celebration. While the celebration is still aimed at showering the mother with blessings and gifts, it has become more inclusive to include the father-to-be and the men of the family too.
#1. Fun and Games
Since there is no specific time to organise a baby shower party, it can be organised later in the day after the traditional ceremony. A baby shower includes both female and male friends and family and children too. Decorate the venue in a baby theme and organise baby and pregnancy-themed games.
You could fill a clear jar with chocolates and ask the guests to guess the number of chocolates in the jar. You could also request your guests for their baby pictures, hang them up on a wall and have guests guess who-is-who.
Many celebrations now prominently feature a baby themed cake as a surprise for the excited parents-to-be. The cake can be made in gender-neutral colours if you don’t know the baby’s gender. The cake cutting will create happy memories for the parents-to-be which can later be added in the baby book.
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Food is the highlight of any party and a baby shower is no different. This is the perfect time to show your creativity with some baby themed decorations. The buffet counters can be decorated in shades of pink, blue and white. Baby bottle, bootie, bows, and bear shaped cookies can be baked along with the baby themed cake.
Lots of gifts are received both for the baby and the mother. Popular baby gift items include baby clothes, toys, toiletries, crib, pram and many more. The close family may give gifts of gold and silver. The parents-to-be can set up a baby gift register to ensure they receive useful items and the gifts are not repeated.
#5. Return Gifts
The parents-to-be can also give away thank you gifts to their guests as a gesture of appreciation. These could be sweets, jars of cookies, candles, or anything which could be enjoyed by all guests.
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