Seemantham, also known as Pumsavana Seemantham is an important traditional ritual carried out during pregnancy. Although in ancient times Seemantham was performed on the birth of each child, today it may be restricted to the first born. Seemantham ceremony marks a woman’s passage into motherhood and celebrates her fertility.
From the day of formation in its mother's womb, a child grows in different stages, each with a stipulated time frame. Accordingly, although brain formation takes much earlier, memory cells are said to start activating on the completion of seven months of pregnancy. Thereafter, the unborn child can record sounds and vibrations from its surroundings.
In order to format the brain in an optimal condition, Vedic tradition calls for the recitals of relics and verses known as Udhagasanthi or Uthakashanthi Japam in a soft but powerfulmantra recital that lasts for about an hour and a half. On completion of this japam (recitals), the pregnant woman is bathed in cold holy water, without the addition of any warm or hot water. This takes places even as late in the evening whereupon the child in the womb shakes and jerks from the stimulation of the cold water.
Each Vedic mantra is designed for a specific stimulation, so that its phonetic vibration attains its fullest value. Udhakasanthi Japam gives confidence to the pregnant women and also increases her mental strength, with supportive gathering members blessing the child and mother for a normal delivery.
Nowadays Seemantham is often combined with a "Valaikaapu" ritual hosted by the pregnant woman's mother. The Seemantham ceremony is more religious in nature as opposed to the Valaikaapu, which is meant to be an informal function. The ceremony itself has its roots in olden times when women would depend on the local midwife to deliver her child. In order to ease her passage, this ceremony would be performed to invoke blessings. However, the traditional ceremony is not of relevance today, since some doctors believe that mothers to be should avoid crowds towards their ninth month of pregnancy in order to avoid infection risks. Rituals such as pouring cold (holy) water on the mother to be may also be harmful to the fetus in some cases.
Writeup Courtesy : Wikipedia
The ritual is generally performed by the bridegrooms house.
Things to be brought by the Bride’s family:
• Pattu Pai(Silk mat)
• Seer Patchanangal(Snacks & Sweets)
• Clothes for daughter and son-in-law
• Beetle leaves
• Sandal wood
Items for Pooja
• Agarbathi – One small packet
• Beetle Leaves – 8 or more
• Camphor – One Small Packet
• Coconut -1
• Flowers – Min One Bouquet, or more if you wish & Flower-Garlands – 2.
• Fruits – Min One Dozen, or more if you wish.
• Ghee- minimum 2 pounds of boiled butter or more
• Kalasham (if you can) – 2
• Kumkum – 1 Spoon
• Lamps -2
• Mango leaves - 5 (if you can)
• New Cloth ( blouse bit, about 1 meter, any color, other than black )
• Oil or Ghee and 2 small Cotton balls
• Plates – 5-small or medium
• Rice – 2 pounds.
• Sandal Powder-1 small packet
• Supari – One small Packet
• Sweet-Rice or paayasam, as much as needed for all your guests.
• Thread – white – 1 roll.
• Tumblers or small cups - 5
• Turmeric Powder – Small Packet ( about 8 spoons )
Seer Patchanangal(Sweets & Snacks):
Some important and usual sweets and snacks brought as Seer(gift) by the bride's family are given below:
- Murukku(7 rounds of kai murruku - 31 or 5 rounds of kai murukku - 51)
- Paruppu Thengai(2)
- Varupayiru (Recipe is given below)
Out of the above, Appam, Pauppu thengai Adhirasam, Murukku are mandatory. The rest are optional.
Most of the families perform Valaigappu on this same auspicious day.
Seer patchanangal may differ for each family, caste, religion. I would like to clearly specify that the above said information are purely based on my knowledge on Seemantham and not the exhaustive one which covers all traditions.
Recipe of Varupayiru:
Ingredients for Poori:
|Chole(Chick peas)||1 Cups|
|Yellow Split Peas||1 Cups|
|Moth Beans(Payaru)||1 Cups|
|Horse Gram||1 Cups|
|Karamani(Black eyed peas)||1 Cups|
|Seasame Seeds||1 Cups|
|Finely slitted Coconut||1/2 Cup|
Ingredients for Grinding:
- Wash and Soak the Chole(Chick peas), Yellow Split Peas, Moth Beans(Payaru), Horse Gram and Karamani(Black eyed peas) INDIVIDUALLY in water over night
- Soak the seasame seeds in water for 1 hour in the morning
- Drain the water from the ingredients well & spead on a cloth for 2-3 hrs, to dry thoroughly.
- Roast each individually on a dry kadai first on medium heat and then on low flame till crisp.
- Smear the skin from the pulses after roasting
- Dry roast the poha/aval in a pan.
- Dry roast the peanuts and smear the skin
- Dry roast the slitted coconut till it becomes golden brown color. Mix all the roasted pulses, Poha and peanuts
- Now grind the grinding ingredients to a nice paste by adding little water
- Add this to the pulses, aval and poha mixture and mix well
- Spread this in a flat plate and keep it sun to dry completely
- Meanwhile prepare the seedai and when the varapayaru is dried completely in sun, add the seedai and mix well and store it in a air tight container
- The varapayaru is now ready for Seer. This is very healthy snack too..
You can refer to the Balanced diet recipes (After Delivery) in the below link