“Nam” means name. A name gives a child a unique identity. In India, the name itself is considered to be sacred. It helps the parents to understand the responsibilities they are now faced with as they raise the child. Namkaran is held ten days after the birth of the child. The house has to be cleaned before the ceremony, unless it is conducted in a mandir or temple. The ceremony itself involves the child, both parents, grandparents and a priest. The baby wears new clothes and is puriﬁed by the mother by having its hair wet by the mother. A ritual is then carried out with a sacred ﬁre and the priest chants prayers. The father recites the chosen name four times in the child’s ear, and then everybody present blesses the child. It is concluded with a large feast of traditional Indian food, usually vegetarian. Items involved in the ceremony include supari (betel nuts), haldi (turmeric powder), dry nuts, moong (a type of lentils), incense sticks and coins of one rupee denomination, which is considered to be a sign of good luck according to Hindu beliefs.
Date of Birth
As a ceremony, Namkaran brings together family and close friends, and provides an opportunity for them all to meet the baby and celebrate his or her arrival. It creates a sort of bond between the child and those that will be most important in his or her life.