Naming ceremony / Namakaran
The naming ceremony marks the first footprint of a child on Earth.
Being one of the most important ceremonies after a child’s birth, a naming ceremony is organized with a lot of grandeur and passion. These ceremonies are not bound to the Indian customs only, they are held in almost all countries and religions across the globe.
According to the Indian traditions, the name of a child is prescribed by the Rig Veda. It contains four components: the nakshatra name, the family deity's name, name of the deity of the month and the name by which the child will be called.
The first ten days after the birth of an infant are considered to be an 'impure' time for both the mother and the child. This impure time comes to an end on the twelfth day when the mother and the child are given a religious bath.
The naming ceremony is usually held on the twelfth day after the child's birth. The child’s horoscope is also drawn up on this auspicious day.
The priest offers prayers to all the gods and the spirits of the forefathers and beseeches them to pour their blessings on the new born. The father then whispers the chosen name in the baby’s right ear.
Different religions have different customs for naming an infant. Some customs say that a child should be named after some respected family member or parental grandparents, some people name their child after the family deity and some believe that a child’s name should be a combination of his/her birth place, father’s name and grandparent’s name. Some others name the child after some deceased relative to pay respect to them; while in others priests are consulted to suggest names that will bring good fortune to the new born.