Indians have a strong inclination for celebrations and festivals. We totally love to splurge on occasion, and do it in a grand way. Friends, family and relatives all come together to celebrate good news, and what news could bring in more happiness than the forthcoming arrival of a baby? Beats me! And if you thought Godh bharai was all about women dancing and singing in their best traditional attires, flowers and jewellery, you are wrong. Men too actively participate in the celebration and if for nothing else, definitely for some great food and the colorful festivities. And that is why we bring you some wonderfully unique, yet easy Godh Bharaiideas.
What Is Godh Bharai (Baby Shower) Ceremony?
Whether it is Valakapu in Tamil Nadu, Seemandham in Kerela , Shaad in Bengal or baby shower in the urban Indian space, it carries the same quintessential – blessings and gifts to the mother-to-be and her unborn baby, Godh Bharai or Indian Baby Shower has been popularized in recent times by many celebrities. Godh bharai translates into ‘filling the lap’ in Hindi, and is celebrated to bless the unborn baby and the mother with abundant joys of motherhood. It holds a lot of significance for us Indians and is an auspicious occasion.
Various cultures have different ways to celebrate the impending arrival of a new family member, but the essence remains the same. It is also presumed to be one of the last social gatherings that a mother-to-be can attend and enjoy before the baby arrives.
Which Month Of Pregnancy Should I Have My Godh Bharai?
Traditionally, it is preferred to have the Godh Bharai ceremony sometime during the 7th month of pregnancy. It is so believed that once you reach the third trimester of pregnancy, you and your baby are much safer. Because chances of mishap in the last trimester are the least, 7th month should be ideal for celebrating upcoming motherhood. Moreover, after 8th month starts, mothers-to-be start to put on weight considerably and get tired easily and it may be difficult for them to be a part of a function. During the 7th month, they can also actively participate in the celebrations and enjoy it.
However, some families still prefer to have the celebration during or after the completion of the 8th month of pregnancy. In some cultures, baby shower is done even earlier than the 7th month of pregnancy. A family’s tradition, religious customs and other religious preferences basically decide the time of having the Godh Bharai function.
Some families prefer not to have a Godh Bharai function and have a A pooja or havan after the baby’s birth. This is entirely a family’s choice and preference.
How Does The Godh Bharai Rasam Take Place?
Every family and every community has a different way to celebrate Godh Bharai, but it generally involves blessing the mother-to-be and the unborn baby. The guests are mostly close friends and family. A pooja or havan is mostly carried out marking the occasion as auspicious. A few fun games, exchange of gifts and a lavish lunch adorn the celebrations. Women folk gather together to shake a leg or two and sing traditional songs. The mother-to-be is showered with gifts and given loads of advice. There is laughter, fun and a spread of a happy wave that makes the occasion memorable.
How Can I Enjoy My Godh Bharai?
It can be a wonderful time for you and the family to spend some time together and celebrate the arrival of a new family member. However, you are bulky, battling many pregnancy conditions and fatigue and may even be dealing with swelling in your feet and legs. Nevertheless, it is a special day for you and you should enjoy it too. Here are some tips that can make your Godh Bharai an enjoyable experience for you as well.
- Take rest prior to the ceremony: Since the ceremony might get hectic and leave you tired, it is a good idea to take ample rest before the celebrations kick-start
- Wear appropriate clothing: Most Godh Bharai functions call for the mother to wear heavy jewelry and clothing. In some cultures, women wear their bridal lehengas too. Because it could get quite uncomfortable to wear a heavy attire and jewelry, opt for lighter fabrics and flower jewelry. If you need to, then wear the heavy stuff for the pooja and change into something lighter later
- Eat well and healthy: Godh Bharai is often accompanied with a lavish spread on table and inviting sweets and rich curries. Deep fried foods and preparations made from pure ghee may be too tempting, but watch your portions and politely refuse things you do not like
- Do give in to some cravings: It is your special day and the table is laid with lavish and rich spreads. Give in to a few cravings here and there, but watch the portions carefully. Now that does not mean you have plates and plates of aloo tikki or rabri-jalebi!
- Stay hydrated: Water plays a very vital role in keeping you healthy and going, not just in your pregnancy, but even after that. Make sure you stay well-hydrated throughout the day drinking water and other caffeine free liquids. Yes, that means all those trips to the bathroom
- Take breaks: So the function is in full swing and you are feeling a bit tired. Get up and take a short nap or simply put your legs up. No-one is going to mind if you take a small rest break or two in-between the festivities as everyone understands
The Godh Bharai function is a great way to have a get-together with friends and family before the arrival of the baby. Shake a leg or two if your friends ask you to, but make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes!
8 Exciting And Interesting Indian Godh Bharai Ideas
When planning for the Indian baby shower starts, everyone thinks to make it a memorable affair, especially for the mother whose life is going to change soon. It is the time to pamper the mother-to-be in a grand fashion, and little details like how much time should she spend in the function to what activities will be carried on are planned as per her convinience and comfort. Though in India a baby shower is much of a traditional affair, you can twist and bring something new for everyone to cherish a lifetime. Here are some wonderful, unique Godh Bharai ideas.
Take the mother down the memory lane
Godh bharai is all about honouring the mom-to-be and what better than taking her down the memory lane! Get pictures of her childhood and decorate the venue with them. Get her favourite toys and arrange them around where she is seated. Her side of the family can tell her childhood stories and you can ask her to tell everyone her favorite parts of growing up.
Watch her turn all nostalgic and teary-eyed with joy!.
Draw the baby blind folded
Ask all the guests to take a paper and a pen and place the paper on the head. Now, ask them to draw how the baby would look like, keeping the paper at the head itself. Or you can make an arramgement where guests can draw the baby’s pictures while being blindfolded.
Do not roll on the floor as you are sure to get lots of funny sketches!.
Pamper the mom-to-be
Organise a spa or a beauty treatment for the women of the party. Let them doll up and have some music played. Let them play their favourite games and discuss make-up and what not. In the end, serve them a lavish lunch based on the taste and preference of the mom-to-be.
Things to know on paper
Ask all guests to get a list of what the new mom should know written on a piece of paper. Collect them as soon as the guests enter and then put them up on a wall. Read them aloud to the mom-to-be and watch her expressions as she absorbs every little bit of advice.
While there will be some useful pieces of information, some of the lists will make you burst with laughter.
Dress in a theme
You can ask all the guests to dress in the theme decided by the mother-to-be. It can be a color, or all girls with frills, or cartoon characters, or filmy characters. Depends on the whims and fancies of the mother.
Have a modern twist for the elders
Ask all elders of the house to wear modern attire with hats or tiaras. You will be in for pleasant surprises as elderly womenfolk walk around in dresses and gowns teamed up with hats. Ask the younger lot of the family to dress traditionally like their own mothers and fathers.
That is a welcome change for everyone!.
You can ask all guests to get something cooked from their house and then have a huge feast together. The guests should actually get food based on the mother’s tastes and preferences. This works particularly well where in people from many cultures and ethnicities come together to celebrate. Plus, it saves money on catering and you can yet have a gala time.
Dress as pregnant:
All guests to dress as pregnant, behave as pregnant and waddle as pregnant women do! I can’t stop smiling!.
Browse for some out-of-the-box and unique theme ideas in our post here.
5 Fun-filled Godh Bharai Games
Baby shower should be a fun-filled function, so how can we leave planning for godh Bharai games? Arrange for some games to go along with your Godh Bharai ideas and you will have a blast at the ceremony. Here are some ideas to help you start thinking and planning!
1. Guess the gender and suggest a name
During pregnancy, you must have had many women walking upto you and trying to predict the baby’s gender basis your symptoms, belly shape and even the month you conceived in. While there is no other way than scientific medical tests to know the gender of the unborn baby, it can be a fun way to ask the guests to guess whether it will be a girl or buy.
Keep two big jars, labelled boy and girl, and keep some pink and blue slips alongside with a pen. Ask your guests to write their preferred name on the list – on the pink slip if they think it’s going to be a girl, and drop it in the respective jar. Once the baby arrives, you will have help in shortlisting your baby’s name, and you’d know who was right!
2. Touch, feel and guess baby items
This one is loaded with loads of laughter and fun. On a large table, place a lot of baby products, like diapers, clothes, pacifiers, toys, etc. The guests need to be blindfolded, hold the items and guess the name of the item. The one who gets the maximum right wins the game. You can also use a bag for this.
You will have to keep on interchanging the placement of the items and you may even play around with the mind of the guests by placing some funny items in-between. This will be fun as everyone wracks their brain to get things right!
3. Guess the birth date of the baby
Ask your guests to pick and choose a date on which they feel the baby is likely to arrive. Mark the suggested dates with the names of people who voted for it and announce a small prize to the one who would get it right – you’d know this only after the birth! Your guests can also leave a special message for the unborn baby on a small slip.
It will be fun to browse through these memories later.
4. Stick out the good and bad
Ask your guests to identify one thing each that they love and hate about the parents of the unborn baby. Make different coloured slips, and your guests can write messages to the baby like “Don’t be lazy like your Dad” or “Have the eyes of your mother”. The negatives go in one box, and the positives go in other. Don’t ask them to leave their names – and when you read those slips out, guess who wrote what for you!
Real fun, I tell you.
5. Messages for the parents
On similar lines as the above game, you can ask your guests to leave a message/tip/advice for you as new parents. Nothing serious, but whacky, funny stuff that parents come across all their lives. Someone might give the very useful advice of sleeping when the baby sleeps, while someone else may tell you to remember to comb everyday!
Godh Bharai Return Gifts
Being a traditional celebration, you can opt for traditional godh bharai return gifts for your guests who take time from their busy schedules to be a part of the function. Planning ahead is the key, so once the invitations have been handed out and guests have confirmed, make a list of them and decide in what you would like to present as a thank you token. Traditional gifts like bindi packets, heena pouches, bangles and dupattas, decorative traditional potlis and kumkum containers, bangle organisers and make-up pouches would go nicely with the theme of the function. Sometimes cosmetics and perfumes are also given as return gifts.
Do share if you have any more ideas and we will be happy to add them here!