From 3rd of Feb, the festivities started and lasted till 7th night.
It was a great week.
The whole week was full of something or other. One fine day we had event A, on other we had B and so on... Every day of the week was full of some or other event giving a renewed reason to celebrate the day.
The festivities started on 3th with "Charua-Satiya" placing function. Here in, sisters of the father put on holy symbols (SWASTICAS) at the doors of the room where the newborn and the new mother spend most of their time, (basically their room). The idea is to initiate another round of omnious prayers.
These symbols are created using cow-dung, and are covered with a piece of cloth till the day of "Kuaan Poojan". The original idea of Kuaan Poojan was to purify the new mother and remove restrictions of movement in and about house. (Generally, in Indian households, the new mother is/was not supposed to move around and execute daily chores for quite some time after delivery. It was considered that she was not pure enough after deliver, I believe it was another excuse created by the learned people to make public follow their guideline, since its very helping to the new mother if she is resting a lot after delivery. Public in India is more prone to following an advice if its linked to religion somehow)
Then there was the Ekadashi Udyaapan program on 6th and 7th Feb. Basically, this is a closure of a ritual (of fasting) followed by someone for a lifetime. Here, the person is supposedly mentioning to the gods that the body doesnt allow anymore exertion of that level and the fast (of Ekadashi) is going to be discontinued.
A celebration is due since its a big thing anyway, also because its nice to have people around you and celebrate on every little occasion. For us it was even bigger because, it was posthumously done for my mom, and it was clubbed together with the Kuaan Poojan of our newborn. My mom originally wanted to perform the Udyaapan in June last year only, but when she got to know about the pregnancy, she postponed the udyaapan to be held together with the ceremonies for the baby. But, gods had planned it differently... :(
Knowing her (mom) as much as I knew her, she would have been the happiest person around on this birth. She was the single most excited person about the pregnancy and waiting for it to happen forever...
So, on the Udyaapan thing, there is quite a lot of religious acts performed. Donations being given to the Braahmins, a special meal-feast organized for Brahmins and loads and loads of relatives invited for the same.
It was very hectic for me personally, due to the fact that as a son, I had to be part of some of the ceremonies for my father. On the other hand, I was supposedly managing the whole procession singlehandedly. It was really really huge. For the first time, I was managing something of that scale. But it all paid off with the fun-laughter-satisfaction of having it done for my parents and son... the feeling is priceless...
Here are some snaps...