Fun Rituals For An Indian Baby Shower
Ushering in life (Having a baby) to this world takes the woman to a different level together! She is nurtured, cared for and celebrated with. In India, given the country's cultural spectrum, there's no one way even for the Indian Baby shower or 'Godh bharai' as it is popularly called. Most communities in India celebrate Godh Bharai in or after the commencement of the 7th month of pregnancy, as most pregnancies are considered safe at this point. Even if a delivery happens, chances are high that the baby will survive and grow healthy.
Here are a few ways and beliefs that people practise to celebrate the joy of the soon-to-arrive baby and of motherhood.
1. Godh Bharai – North India:
On the day of Godh Bharai, the expectant mother dresses up in a new dress, wherein sometimes, the color is predefined or the dress is to be provided by her mayeka (Paternal Home). Godh Bharai includes rubbing special oils on the pregnant lady's belly, and filing (Bharai) her lap (godh) with gifts for her and the soon-to-arrive child. Often guesses are made on the gender of the baby, names for each gender are suggested, with a dash of humor. All these activities take place around celebrations with community specific songs and dances, and application of 'mehendi' by an artist on the hands of the attendees.
For decades, the ritual of Godh Bharai has been a Women only affair however; modern day celebration can include men as well.
Ideally, a few communities do not believe in the ritual of Godh Bharai, assuming it to be a bad ritual to buy gifts, clothes and other items for a baby that has not yet arrived, keeping in mind that there may be a mishap, and then such gifts, clothes, etc make it difficult for the family to come out of the trauma.