Tuesday, 27 September 2016


Navarathri is a very interesting festival and celebrated during the month of Purattasi. North Indians Celebrate this Festival as Dasara. We make lot of friends during this festival especially, when we move to a new locality. Women celebrate this occasion with a great level of devotion to goddess. The most interesting part of this festival is the golu decorated with lot of dolls depicting historical events, idols of god, themes such as marriage, cricket, park etc; This also depicts our culture.

In my In-laws family we do not have the practice of golu. The picture of golu was shared by Krithika.

Women perform Pooja on all 9 days of the festival. Each day has one significance. People also conduct Parayanam of Lalitha Sahasranamam, Durga Sahasranamam during this period.
Women also undergo fasting and the food is no onion no garlic on all 9 days.

The day we prepare for Navarathri is on the day of Amavasai in the month of Purattasi. People start setting the steps to place the idols and golu. This year Purattasi Amavasai fals on 30 Sep and we have to start with our work on that day and could finish the decorations by end of day or by next day. Day 1 of Navarathri falls on 2 Oct and ends on 10 Oct which we celebrate as Saraswathi Poojai. The next day is Vijayadasami. The first item is the Kalasam that is prepared and kept in Golu. The next idol would be Vinayagar followed by other idols of god. The idols of Gurus are kept beneath the idols of god. The Kalasam is not kept in few families. The number of steps is usually in odd numbers. Few people used to place the Amman Mugam we use for Varalakshmi nonbu.

Ashtalakshmi set, Dhasavadharam set, Marappachi Bommai, Chettiar Bommai with Shops are few commonly known and sort of must for the golu. One of my friends follow themes for each Navarathri festival which is quite interesting. Every year we ensure to buy at least one new Idol for the Golu. Idols that are used by our grand parents form a very significant place in the golu. The Dhasavadharam set should be arranged in the proper order which is usually a challenging one. The order goes like this.
1. Macha avadharam 2. Koorma Avadharam 3. Varaga Avadharam 4. Narasimha Avardharam 5. Vamana Avadharam 6. Parasurama Avadharam 7. Rama Avadharam 8. Balaramar Avadharam 9. Krishna Avadharam 10. Kalki Avadharam

Special lighting's are used to decorate the golu. On all evenings guests are invited to our homes to get the blessings of goddess and to receive Manjal kumkum. We prepare one variety of sundal every day to offer to offer to goddess and to issue to guests. Ellu Podi (Seasame Podi) is prepared on Saturday and Puttu on Friday for offering. Sweets are also prepared daily in the morning as offering to goddess at the end of Pooja. Make use of Jeyashri's kitchen recipes to celebrate Navarathri with awesome sweets and sundal.

Offering dress and Manjal Kumkum to young girls who is yet to attain Puberty is considered as very auspicious during these 9 days.

Nowadays people started providing gifts that includes small bags, purse, blouse bits etc; of their choice.

The small girls in the families are enthusiastically involved to invite the neighbors. They wear silk skirts, dress traditionally and take a small box of kumkum to offer and invite the neighbors.

During my child hood days myself and my sister prepare in advance for the park since few greens are required to make it more realistic. We grow small tiny plants few days in advance and place it for the park. Small pool is also used in the park.

We used to draw colorful kolams in my house to decorate and to invite everyone's attention. Golu competitions are also conducted to encourage the participation. Songs on Goddess also add flavor and sung by kids, women and invitees of golu.

Every day in the night after issuing Manjal kumkum to the invitees we take Aarthi to end the day's event.

Wish you all a very happy Navarathri Celebrations...

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Ganesha Chathurthi/Vinayagar Chathurthi

Vinayagar /Pillaiyar Chathurthi is a very interesting festival for all of us. The reason being, we all love Vinayagar as first god to worship during all functions we conduct at home and at temples. Elders used to offer their prayers to Pillaiyar whenever they start a new/important work.

This festival is celebrated by all Hindus across India. Ganesh Chathurthi is celebrated as the Birthday of Lord Ganesha. The long trunk of Lord Ganesha is favorite for kids. I have heard lot of people who collect Ganesha Idols as their hobby and they love doing it.

I am happy to explain the traditional way of Celebrating Vinayagar Chathurthi at our home.

Elders in my family insist upon buying the Vinayagar Idol made of clay on the day of this festival in the morning. This Idol is usually not painted and in bright colours those days. Now we could see the idols in Nice bright colours in shops few days before the Festival. We also buy erukkam poo (Crown Flower) maalai, Arukampul (Bermuda grass) maalai and a flower garland to offer to Lord Ganesha.

While bringing in the Ganesha Idol, Aarthi is taken to invite Lord to our house.

Ladies at home place a wooden stool in the Pooja room while the gents go to buy the properties required for the Pooja. Maakolam is drawn on the stool (manai palagai). Vinayagar Idol is place on the stool facing east/west/north and not facing south. Decorate the idol by applying Sandal, kumkum on the forehead. Wear a Poonal (sacred thread) to Lord Ganesha. Place a 1 rupee coin on the thoppul of the Idol. Then wear the garlands bought.

Be prepared with the properties required for the Pooja. Manjal (turmeric powder), Akshadhai, Loose Flowers for Archanai, Betal leaves & nuts, Coconut, Goa fruit, Bananas, Vilampazham (Wood Apple-known as Ganesha's favorite fruit).

All members in the family take head bath on this day early in the morning. We prepare Sundal, Coconut Mothak, Ulundhu Vadai, Rice & Dhal, Payasam, Ellu Kozhukattai, Ammini Kozhukattai. Most important is the Sweet Mothak and Sundal.

Pillaiyar is also made out of Turmeric powder which is most auspicious. Most families encourage guys to perform the Pooja since Lord Ganesha is a bachelor. Once the pooja is over the fruits and other food prepared are offered to god by performing neivedhyam. We pray god for the wellness of the family and request his blessings in all the happenings throughout the year and offer Deepaarathanai using Camphor.

People ensure to visit Temple to worship god on this special occasion.

We also perform Punar Poojai on the next day and then move the idol slightly towards North. The Idol used for the Pooja is usually put into the well on the third day. Nowadays the Idols are placed in common places in their respective area and they are collected and carried to the river/sea to dissolve them.

You can make use of my sister's website for the Ganesh Chathurthi recipes.

Wishing you all a Very Happy Vinayagar Chathurthi....

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Sumangali prarthanai/Suhasini Poojai/Pondugal

Sumangali Prathanai/Mangili Pondugal is a great occasion during which the elders in the family who passed away as Sumangali are worshiped to get their blessings. We usually perform this every year or most importantly before performing a marriage or Upanayanam in the family. Though this occasion does not include any formal poojai there are lot of formalities to be observed.

If there are two or more brothers in a family, then each one should not do it on their own without considering others preference. Even cousin brothers are also considered who belong to same gothram or family (i.e) brothers of father and their families are also considered before performing this pooja. If one family member perform this Pooja on the occasion of a marriage of their kids then the same year another family should not do it. They may join together and do it combining both occasions. In some families, the cousins may not be in touch with each other in the next generation. In that case we may not be aware of the happenings in their family. So we need not worry much about the co incidence that might happen in terms of performing this pooja. As long as we do not have a close contact and unaware of what is happening in their families, we can do it at our comfort.

If any elders in the family passed away and it has not been a year yet, then we shall not conduct this Poojai. This is applicable to the ladies invited as Pondugal.

The number of Suhasini/Pondugal for this Pooja are invited in odd numbers. The count should be 5, 7 , 9 and so on. But 3 is not a accepted number for this function. The count is towards the number of servings (i.e. Ilai kanakku) and not the number of ladies. The Swami Ilai is counted as one, one small girl who didn't attain puberty and then 3 ladies which will aggregate to 5. You have to increase the number of ladies as per your wish. Few families used to have 2 small girls which we call as Kanya pondugal. This depends on their family tradition. In few families there will be no Kanya Pondugal.

Usually the daughters of the family who are married are considered as Pondugal. The elder daughter in law is primarily eligible person to conduct this Pooja. The one conducting the Pondugal should also be a Sumangali.

The day to conduct the Sumangali Prathanai should be an auspicious day. The most preferred day would be the next day of the Srartham performed for the elder lady who passed away as a Sumangali. We need not think about other factors to conduct the function on this day.

While purchasing the cloths either saree or blouse bit we should ensure that there is no black color mixed in it. The day we purchase the materials should also be an auspicious day. We have to ensure that the materials are purchased before a week's time and not very much in advance. In my mom's family they purchase only on the day before the Poojai. The Saree purchased for Swami Ilai should be 9 yards. This is usually offered to the daughter. If there are no daughters then shall be offered to a elderly Sumangali.

Pondugal/Suhasini should be invited by offering Kumkum, manjal, gingely oil and Shikakai on the day before if they are residing close by. If they are coming from long distance these shall be offered upon their arrival.

The sumangalis should wear madi saree. The 9 yards saree & blouse piece bought should be kept in front of Swami along with kumkum, manjal, oil and Shikkai and perform neivedyam. Then the daughter/daughters shall be offered with kumkum and invited for the Pondugal. Apply oil on her head. These shall be done before the daughter in law of the family take bath. Then the saree and blouse after taking bath by the host (Daughter in law) should be dipped nicely in water and then dried on sun. Do not allow anyone to touch this. This is also madi. The saree will not be soaked in few families and just be folded and kept in the manai palagai. You shall refer this page for the details.

The Banana leaves in which we are going to serve food should be first placed for Swami ilai in front of the Manai palagai where we kept the 9 yards saree. This should be facing east/west. The leaf should be placed as if the swami is sitting to have food. The nuni of the leaf on the left side. The rest of the leaves shall be placed facing east, west and north and not south. While we start serving food we should start with Swami ilai and end with the leaf in the north side. Ensure to serve all food in little quantity first including a small portion of rice.

Maa kolam is drawn on the house entrance, manai palgai, on the all places where we are going to place the leaves for serving food. Prepare akshadhai and mix flowers with that, prepare Aarthi, mix turmeric in water and keep it in a small container, mix nalungu and keep it ready, Pangam, Neer more, Sukku Vellam also should be ready, Pancha pathiram with water, Camphor and the Deeparathanai plate, Two Lamp cleaned and filled with oil should be lit before the pooja. The saree dried should be kept on the manai palagai before the swami ilai with the Blouse piece around it as shown in Picture. Jewels available at home shall be placed on the Saree along with garland.

All Sumangalis should apply turmeric on their legs and wash with water and then stand on the entrance. Aarthi should be shown to invite them. Then the daughter in law should invite them from the entrance holding their hands one by one and direct towards the Leaves where food is served. While inviting Suhasinis the host clap hands and invite them.

The host should then show Aarthi to the God and to the Saree kept and then perform Neivedyam to the food, show camphor and then pray well. After completing the prayer host should mention the names of the elders who passed away as Sumangali in their families and call them to get blessings. In our family we used to mention the names and also tell "Arindhava Ariyadhava, therindhava, theriyadhava, oru paanikku ullava ellarum vandhu asirvadham pannungo". We might not know few members before 3 or 4 generations. Hence we used to tell the above in order to include everyone and get their blessings. Upon completion of prayer Akshadai is offered to the Saree by all the family members who host the Pooja.

After that serve theertham and we shall start serving the Sumangalis and ensure they had food without any dissatisfaction. Ask for rice finally if any required and ensure they had enough. After having food serve theertham and allow them to sit comfortably. Apply little turmeric on their foot and apply nalungu. Then offer them Sukku Vellam, Panakam, Neer more, Betal leaves and nuts. Then provide them thamboolam that includes, betal leaves & nuts, turmeric, Kumkum, Mehandhi, Comb, Small mirror, Bangles and saree with blouse piece/ blouse piece. While providing the thamboolam, the sumangali should be seated facing east/west. They get the thamboolam on the edge (Pallu/madi) of their sarees.

After providing to all Sumangali Aarthi is taken and the host family perform Namaskaram to all.

The Sumangalis who are invited as Pondugal should not have food at night. They can have some fruits/Kanchi and should not eat outside as well. The food is prepared wearing madi dress and without using onion and garlic. Freshly roasted and ground masalas are used for the cooking. Ladies who host and participate should tie their hair properly and not allowed to untie their hair. This is considered as a very important practice. Food should not be brought from outside. Outsiders are also not allowed to have food on this day. Ladies who are in their menstrual period also should not participate and have this food.

The daughters of the family who are invited for Pondugal shall be allowed to take food in night as per our family practice. The hosts also shall have food in the night.

The basic menu includes, Paruppu Payasam, thayir pachadi, Sweet Pachadi, Carrot Kosmalli, Sweet kosmalli, two varieties of curry, aviyal, pickle, paruppu, ghee, Ulundu Vadai, Poli, Sambar/pitlai, Rasam, Rice, curd, fruits.

Enjoy performing Sumangali Prarthanai and obtain blessings from elders.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Varalakshmi Vradham/Varalakshmi Nonbu

Varalakshmi Vradham is followed by ladies in order to obtain the blessings of goddess Varalakshmi to remain as "Sumangali" for ever. So this Vradham is adopted for the wellness of the husband for the married ladies and for other girls, they pray goddess to bless them with the goodness post marriage.

This year the festival falls on 12 August 2016.

On the previous day evening of the festival, ladies invite Goddess "Ambaal" to their home. This is traditionally done by drawing the face of goddess on the Wall. In olden days, we can see this drawing in almost all houses. My grandma also does the same. Few families invite ambaal on the day of Festival in the morning.

Draw maakolam on the floor and Place a clean Banana leaf or a wide plate (thambaalam) on the top. Spread Paddy/Rice on the leaf and then place the Kalasam (prepared as explained below)
Take a clean Brass/Silver Vessel (Sombu), put raw rice, few Toor Dhall, 2 pieces of Manjal Kilangu, kadhora karugamani and Rupee coin. Apply Sandal and Kumkum on all sides of the Vessel. In few families, the vessel is filled with water instead of rice. Take a coconut, wash it in water, apply turmeric on it. On top of the vessel place the coconut upside down that don't fell into the vessel. The outer area of the coconut (between coconut and vessel) should be covered with few mango tree leaves end facing outside. On top of the coconut tuft (kudumi) Amman Mugam will be placed after decorating with jewels. A blouse bit will be fold and placed on the top of the Kalasam covering coconut. We can get a Paavadai to fold around the kalasam without covering the Mugham of Ambaal. Nowadays we get lot of decorative items in the shops. My sister's family insist karugamani as one of the jewels for Ambaal.

Ambaal will be decorated with Jadai (Flowers on the backside as decoration in the plait). Cotton wick is used to decorate Ambaal. Using Screw Pine Flower (thazhampoo) is also much encouraged for decoration. A lengthy cotton wick is prepared and apply kumkum in equal intervals of approximately 1 CM. The wick is used as garland for Ambaal. A medium size mirror will be kept on the backside of Amman enabling us to see the Plait decorated with flowers.

Now Draw kolam on the place where we are going to keep the Ambaal to invite the day before. Place a wooden stool (manai palagai) and draw Maa Kolam on that too. Place a green Banana leaf on the stool. Put Paddy/raw rice on the leaf and spread it, so that it look like a circle with approximately 10 to 15 cm diameter. Then place the Kalasam on the rice. Ambaal will be placed facing east/west and should be able to be viewed from the entrance of the house.

We should be able to see Ambaal by bending enough and not on table that stands to our height.

If there are three married ladies, each one would have one Ambaal that was gifted by her mother at the time of her first Nonbu after marriage. All Ambaal Mugham will be placed for pooja. But only one kalasam will be used for the Nonbu.

If each one does the Pooja in separate houses, then they shall use separate Kalasam for the purpose of celebrating this Nonbu.

Usually the bride's Mom gift the Silver Vessel and Ambaal to the Bride during the first Nonbu after her marriage. Along with this, the Bride is entitled for Vethalai Pakku, manjal, kumkum, flowers and dress. Every year, the bride's mom used to offer thamboolam and gift to her daughter on the occasion of this festival.

Ladies sing songs to welcome Goddess on the previous day evening. They also prepare Sakkarai pongal and perform Neivedhyam.

The song they used to sing is "Varalakshmi Raave maa intikki" meaning goddess Varalakshmi, please come to my house.

They next day morning, ladies get up early in the morning, clean the house, draw decorative kolam in the entrance and apply the red color sand (Chemmann). They take head bath (not oil bath) wear madisaar (madi dress) and apply kumkum on forehead.

Amman is then invited formally, the kalasam will be taken from the entrance and kept in the Pooja room where we are going to perform the Varalakshmi Pooja. A Mandapam will be placed where we are performing the Pooja. There should be a top where we are going to keep the Amman with Kalasam.

The decorations on this day include 2 small banana tress, Thoranam, serial lights, flowers etc;

Ladies prepare Paruppu Payasam, Kozhukattai, Ulundhu Vadai, Pacharisi Idly, sundal, Saadam and Thoor Dhal and Buy fruits to offer to goddess.

In our mother's home, priest used to come and lead us to perform the Pooja.

Nowadays, ladies follow the books available in shops to perform Pooja.

At the end of the Pooja the Saradu will be tied on the right hand. It will be tied by a senior Sumangali lady. While the Saradu is being tied the lady who is wearing the Saradu should have a Thamboolam on her hands and then allow the Sumangali to tie the Saradu.

If there are no ladies at home on that day, then husband shall tie the saradu to wife. Ladies will perform Namaskaram to god, elders at home and husband to obtain their blessings.

Ladies used to offer Thamboolam to Sumangalis on the evening. After issuing thamboolam, Aarathi will be taken to Ambal and slightly move towards North.

Next day we perform Punar poojai and prepare some sweet for neivedyam. In my sister's family they compulsorily prepare curd rice.

The next day night, take the Ambal carefully and place inside the Vessel in which we keep Rice. After performing this, we should not enter into the room throughout the night. The reason behind is allowing Ambal to take rest. Amman is again taken out on the next day morning. The rice used is mingled with the rice in the container in our house. The coconut is used to prepare some sweet preferably Arisi thengai payasam.

Celebrate this auspicious day with your family...

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Aadi Maasa Pirappu

Tamil Month "Aadi" has an in built charm because it is a Ice Breaker of festivals. Aadi means Pandigai and it is a favorite month to worship goddesses. During this month we celebrate Garuda Panchami, Varalakshmi Nonbu, Pathinettamber (Aadi 18), Aadi Pooram etc;

Since this month is known for the worship of Goddesses, in most of the families they offer Maavilakku on one of the Fridays. Most ladies perform Pooja on the Fridays and  offer Betal leaves & Betal Nuts, Flowers,Coins/Cash, Blouse bits etc as per their wish to Sumangalis staying in their neighborhood. One of my neighbors based out of Tirunelveli, used to wash the legs of Sumangali, offer Kumkum, apply Nalungu on the Foot.Then offer Betal Leaves & Betal Nuts.

The famous festival Aadi Pooram is also celebrated as Valaikaappu function for Amman. People used to offer Glass Bangles to goddesses on this day and sumangalis offer glass Bangles to each other along with Thamboolam.

Newly wedded couples, are invited on the first day of Aadi. It is practice in Hindu families that they invite their Son in Law and offer gifts. The family of the Bride prepare Special Food on this day. People belonging to the Tanjore region, offer Silver Tumbler to the new wedded Groom. They Serve Paal Payasam in this new Tumbler on the day of 1st day of Aadi.

The newly wedded Brides are usually advised to stay with their parents. The belief behind this is that if the girl gets pregnant during this month, the baby will be born during the Tamil month Chithirai. Chithirai being the hottest month, the young mothers will suffer a lot because of the hot sun. To avoid this, our ancestors planned in advance. Nowadays, this has been made as an optional practice since the fact is known to all.

Elders in our family do not prefer to perform Grahapravesam, Marriage or any other functions since this month is the beginning of Dhakshinayanam known as the beginning of night for the god.

Tamil Brahmins also have the habbit of preparing Aadi Paal and Vadai on the first day of Aadi.

Gents perform Tharppanam on the 1st day of Aadi.

Wish you all a great Beginning of Festivals....

Will get in touch with you the whole of this month...

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Samaaradhanai/Saamy Samaaradhanai

Samaaradhanai is usually conducted in the family before a major function like Marriage, Upanayanam etc; Also whenever elders in the family comes back after visiting Kasi performing the rituals there it is a practice that Samaaradhanai and ganga pooja are performed. This is to ensure that there are no hindrances that occur while conducting the functions. Also, a thanks giving for god who facilitated us  to complete the yatra without any obstruction.  Few families do the Samaaradhanai to Venkatachalapathy and few to Lord Muruga. Usually it is performed to the family deity/Kula deivam. Most families have the practice of performing Samaaradhanai to Lord Venkatachalapathy on (Tamil Month) Purattasi Saturday. Maavilakku is also offered on the day if that is a practice followed in their families.

My mom recently visited Kaasi and performed the rituals there with atmost sincerity. Hence we performed Samaaradhanai at our home. Usually, Pandit will come and perform the Pooja. Minimum 2 Brahmins are required to offer Lunch after completing the Pooja. Depending on the financial strength of the family conducting the function, the Brahmins are offered with dhoti and Angavasthram.

The day when we conduct the Pooja should also be an auspicious day. Ensure it does not fall on Ashtami/Navami/Kari Naal.  While conducting Samaaradhanai for Lord Venkatachalapathy elders prefer Saturday. Pandits also chant Sahasranamam on the day.

The items required for Pooja includes, Flowers for Archanai, garlands for god, Betal Leaves & Betal Nuts, Coconut, Banana, Sandal, Kumkum, Turmeric powder, Camphor, Agarpathi, Brass Cups, Pancha pathiram, Brass Plates, Manai Palagai for the Pandit.

Clean the Pooja room and Vilakku (Preferably two), apply sandal and kumkum and keep it ready the previous day itself. Draw Kolam in the Pooja room and at the entrance of the home in the morning.  Place a Manai palagai in the Pooja room and place the idol of the god. Archanai is made for the idol/photo of the god. Madi dresses are required for the persons who perform the Pooja and for the one who is involved in the preparation of the food including Neivedhyam. Married Ladies wear Madisaar and gents wear Panchakacham.

Usually Sakkarai Pongal and Ulundu Vadai are prepared for Neivedhyam. The lunch is also prepared specially for to offer for the Brahmins who are invited. Close family relatives are also invited to attend the Pooja. The menu for the day includes, Sakkarai Pongal, Thayir Pachadi, Sweet Pachadi, Two curry varieties, Aviyal, Green chutney, Pickle, Vadai, Two variety rice, Fruits, Pitlai, Rasam, curd. Banana leaves are used to serve food. No onion No garlic recipes only are allowed on this day.

Pandit performs the Pooja, chant sahasranamam and then give sometime for us to submit our prayers to god. We have to perform Namaskaram to god and get the blessings. Then offer the dhakshanai and food to the Brahmanas. After the food is consumed by them, we have to perform namaskaram to them as well. They will offer their blessings to us.

Persons who do the Pooja and prepare food do not consume breakfast in the morning. Food is consumed after the completion of Pooja. Kids are usually allowed to take some light food.  

Share your experiences and practices in your family related to Samaaradhanai. 

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Baby Care/Infant Care - Traditional method

Following my previous post about the Postnatal care for woman, the most interesting and challenging task is to handle is the infant. We would not know for what reason the baby is crying. Sometimes, the baby will behave restless.  I want to share few tips for the visitors first.

Avoid visiting the infant’s house at least for a month. When you go to the infant’s house, wash your legs, hands with soap. It’s better not to lift the infant at least for three months even if you are good at handling infants. Unless, it is necessary for those who shower the baby it is always better to avoid having physical touch with the baby. The baby will be very tender in all aspects. The immunity level is very low. The baby will undergo pain over the body while handled by many people. Any unknown infection the visitor has might get passed on to the infant.  Do not give money (rupee notes | dollars) in the baby's hand. As the money is handled by many people it is highly infectious. Give the money if you want to offer as gift to the mother and not to the baby. Also the mother and the infant require lot of rest at this stage. We can convey our wishes to the family members; inform them the reason for not visiting during the early stage. Nowadays, the doctors also advise the same to the family, which they find it difficult to tell their friends and relatives.

Kuli Murai for Boy and Girl Babies:

The turn to shower a girl baby (oil Bath) is on even days calculated from the date of Birth. However, initially after Punniyavachanam the turn starts on 13th day followed by 15, 18, 22, 25, 28th day and then alternate days.

The date when the woman gets eligible to enter the kitchen as per our traditions is on the 45th day for a girl baby. This we call as “ Satti thoduradhu “. On this day the woman will take head bath and go to kitchen formally touch the containers in which Salt, Rice and Tamarind are stored.

For the boy babies the turn to shower is on odd days.  It starts from 13th day followed by 15, 17, 21, 23, 25, 28th day and then on odd counts.

The family members are not allowed to go to temple or attend functions conduct any functions for 10 days if it is a boy baby and 3 days for a girl baby.  This we call as “Purundu”. Few people don’t take food in the house till the completion of this duration.

The medicines that our ancestors used to give to the baby those days includes Sukku, Sitharathai, Vasambu, Kadukkai,  Jadhikkai, Masikkai . These items are bought before the delivery. All these are washed and then put in milk and boiled for 15 minutes. Then take it out and allow it to dry completely in shade and not under sun. Usually it is dried inside the house and it takes a minimum of 15 days to get this dried properly. Keep it in a dry container.
On the day when the baby is given oil bath as per the above mentioned days these 6 medicinal valued items are slightly rubbed in a Sandal wood using mother’s milk and fed to the baby.

If the baby seems to have Stomach upset then the sukku is rubbed once in addition and added to the mixture. Similarly when there is sore throat Sitharathai is added, for Constipation kadukkai is added a bit more, when the baby is not Sleeping properly jathikkai and masikkai are used in addition. Vasambu  is usually added very less since it might induce stammering if used beyond the normal level.

The baby’s clothes are preferred to be washed by hands and by someone at home.  The clothes should  be washed and gently squeezed. Over squeezing is usually not preferred. The clothes are dried under shade and not under direct sun for a long time. Especially should not be exposed under open area after 5.30 PM.
The babies are also not allowed to be taken outside after 6 PM. I have had bad experience personally when I took the baby outside after 6 PM. The baby used to cry during night and gets upset. It is very tough to bring back the baby to normalcy.

Our grandmothers used to apply oil (preferably olive oil) over the baby’s body and take the baby under sun early in the morning around 7 AM. This is good for the baby and naturally allows the baby to get vitamin D. 
In olden days, we didn’t have the store bought food. Hence we used to prepare food at home for the kids and the ingredients depend on the age of the baby.

Usually for the first six months only Mothers milk is provided. The mothers should not compromise in terms of the posture for feeding. She has to sit and feed the baby and keep the baby on the shoulder till you hear a burp. Only then the baby is allowed to sleep. Otherwise the milk consumed might get vomited.

After 6 months the baby would require additional food. Usually the first food is very light since the child’s digestive system should adapt to the new food. At this stage Old Boiled rice 200 grams, 50 grams of fried gram, 1/2 tablespoon of Ajwain and sukku 1 pinch are mixed and grind nicely in a rice mill.

Then this soft flour is mixed in water. Initially once half spoon of this flour is added to 100 ml of water and boiled for 3 minutes till the flour gets cooked well. This can fed with a spoon. Slowly monitor the kids adaptiveness to the food (check the digestion, likeliness of taste). Then the consistency can be increased by adding flour.

When the 8th month starts boil the vegeatables like carrot, beans, potato, toor dall and add little bit Rasam and ghee. Smash everything using a heavy ladle and feed the baby. 

At this stage, we can add Wheat, Moong dhal to the home made Rice mixture.

From 9 months we can give Sathu maavu in kanchi consistency can be given or in semi solid consistency adding ghee and sugar. Both my sons never had store bought food.  My Mil and my Mom brought up the kids by giving the above mentioned homemade food only.

Also refer my sisters website for Baby Food Recipe Ideas 

Hope this lengthy post was interesting and useful.