- What is godh bharai?
- When is godh bharai done?
- How is it performed?
- Tips for mom-to-be on godh bharai
- List of beautiful songs for godh bharai
- Godh bharai game ideas
- Unique ideas for Indian baby shower
You have crossed half way of your pregnancy. It’s now time for a huge celebration and a lot of pampering.
If you are an Indian, then you must have already attended a few godh bharai functions of other mothers-to-be. Now it is your turn to celebrate the upcoming motherhood.
What is Godh bharai?
Godh bharai is the Indian baby shower ceremony that exuberantly celebrates the beauty of pregnancy and motherhood. Godh bharai rasam (ceremony) is performed during pregnancy to pray for the good health of the mother and baby, and the safe delivery.
The Hindi word Godh bharai translates to “filling up the lap”. It is celebrated across India under various names – Srimantham in Andhra, Shaad in Bengal, Valakappu in Tamil Nadu, Seemandham in Kerala, Dohalejewan in Maharashtra and Shrimant in Gujarat.
[ Read: Baby Shower Invitation Wordings ]
When is godh bharai done?
In most families, Godh bharai is performed in the seventh month of pregnancy as people believe both the mother and the baby are now in a stable and protected phase.
However, the time of the ceremony may vary as per the family’s traditions and customs. While some families celebrate it in the seventh or ninth month, some families choose not to have a godh bharai ceremony and perform a puja (prayer) only after the child is born.
How is Godh bharai performed?
Godh bharai rituals may differ from one region to the other, but the essence stays the same — welcoming the baby and showering the mother-to-be with blessings and gifts.
Here’s how it is usually celebrated:
- Traditionally, the ceremony is hosted by the parents of the mother-to-be or her parents-in-law.
- A puja or havan is performed before beginning the festivities.
- Godh bharai is a woman-only function, but sometimes men are also invited.
- The mother-to-be is decked up in her traditional finery, including bangles, jewelry, a special saree, and flowers. In most communities, the godh bharai ceremony is celebrated with as much dressing up and fanfare as a wedding.
- In some households, the pregnant lady is anointed with special oils by the senior women of the family.
- All the family members and close friends come together to honor the mother-to-be, bestowing gifts, such as jewelry, garments or money, on her lap.
- Gifts for the baby are given only after the birth.
- In godh bharai ceremonies, games play an important role. Popular ones are guessing the gender of the baby by looking at the mom’s pregnant belly, coming up with names for the baby, ‘antakshari’ (a song game), ‘passing the parcel,’ and teasing the mother in good humor.
- An arrangement of dance and music is specially made to spruce up the event. Lastly, everyone is treated to a sumptuous meal.
Godh bharai is all about blessings and making the mom-to-be feel happy and wanted. You can make it memorable for her with a bit of planning and care.
[ Read: Baby Shower Messages And Quotes ]
Tips for mom-to-be on Godh bharai
The day is going to be a long and tiring day. Follow these tips to have a relaxing yet memorable day.
- Take rest: Get plenty of rest before the ceremony begins because it will be long and hectic.
- Wear the right attire: Select a saree, salwar, or lehenga for the occasion keeping the weather in mind. Heavy garments or embroidery may not be ideal for summers and rob you of the fun. Also, you may not be in a position to carry heavy clothes and jewelry.
- Stay hydrated: Drink a lot of water throughout the day to keep your body fluids balanced, especially if the celebration is in the summer.
- Eat safely: A splendid treat of sweets and fried savories will be at your disposal. Eat small quantities of what you want and politely refuse when you are full.
You may also share your ideas on entertainment and return gifts.
- Entertainment: Keep enough music tracks in your playlist to play during the ceremony. You may hire a mehndi or henna artist to make hand designs for the guests.
- Return gifts: Keep some token appreciation gifts like bangles, jewelry, cosmetics, dupattas, sweets, etc., as return gifts for your guests.
No ceremony is complete without fun games.
Godh Bharai Game Ideas
Here are some godh bharai games you can try.
- Guessing the girth of the mom’s tummy: Distribute ribbon strips to your guests and have them guess the circumference by cutting the ribbon. The person who makes the perfect ribbon wins.
- Guess what she craved: The guests will have to guess five things that the mother craved for the most during her pregnancy. The person with the most correct answers wins.
- The diaper challenge: Divide your guests into two teams. Give them dressed up dolls to play with. Two members from each team will have to remove the clothes from the doll, take off the diaper, and put on a new one accurately on the doll like a real baby; lastly, they have to put the clothes back on.
The twist is that the members can use only one hand to perform this task. The team who finishes first wins.
- Baby time capsule: This game will serve as a beautiful reminder to the mom about what life will be like in the year of her little one’s birth.
To do this, request your guests to bring an item that represents how the parents’ journey is going to be years after the baby is born. For example, a packet of diapers, a onesie, then some bigger clothes as the baby grows, a school bag, etc., or a personal note for the baby about his/her mom and dad.
- Guess the date: Tell everyone the due date of delivery. Take out a calendar for that month and ask your guests to predict the birthday of the baby while writing their names underneath. It will be fun for the mom to finally see who got it right, post delivery.
Godh bharai is not complete without song and dance. Next, we give you a list of songs that are apt for the occasion.
[ Read: Baby Shower Etiquettes ]
Beautiful songs for godh bharai
Bollywood movies have a history of godh bharai ceremonies and related songs. Here are some you can use:
- “Brindavan ka kishan kanhaiya” – Miss Mary
- “Ek naye mehmaan ke aane ki khabar”– Zindagi
- “Ek nanha sa mehmaan aane wala hain”- Yeh rishta kya kehlata hai
- “Mere ghar aaye ek nanhi pari”– Kabhi kabhie
- “Chanda hai tu mera suraj hai tu”– Aradhana
- “Chhoti si pyari si nanhi si”– Anari
- “Meri duniya tu hi re”– Meri Duniya Tu Hi Re- Heyy babyy
- “Tujhe suraj kahoon ya chanda”– Ek phool do mali
- “Sola singaar karke”– Filhaal
In a traditional setup, celebrations are done in almost the same way. But if you are up for trying some refreshing ideas, check our list below.
Unique Ideas for Indian Baby Shower
Although a baby shower in India is a very traditional gathering, there are no restrictions on coming up with some changes. Here are some ideas that you may try:
- A baby shower theme: Come up with a cute, lovely baby-related theme like ‘A Velveteen Rabbit’ theme, ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ etc. Themes beautify and personalize intimate family gatherings.
- Potluck: If catering costs a lot of money, you can connect with your friends, and have a potluck. Each guest brings something delicious keeping your favorites in mind.
- Pampering the mom-to-be: The whole baby shower centers around the mother-to-be. To make her feel special, you can arrange for a spa or salon coupons to the expectant mom to pamper herself before the baby finally arrives.
- Go DIY: Instead of picking a fancy venue and stages, simplify the ceremony by creating an ideal home baby shower ambiance. Make handmade ribbons and chart paper cutouts for decors, and handmade return gifts for the guests.
- Location: If you are a nature lover and the weather is pleasant, you can hold your ceremony outdoors. You may choose your favorite spot outdoors and arrange the party there.
A baby shower is held at a time when you are about to complete your journey to motherhood. You need all the support of your near and dear ones. With the anxiety, concerns, and anticipation of so many months, being around your family and friends to celebrate is an excellent break for you.
[ Read: Easy To Make Baby Shower Recipes ]
Have you been to a godh bharai or hosted one yourself? What activities did you do? Share your experience with us in the comment box below.
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