Occasion of Shadh Ceremony
According to customs, when a pregnant woman has completed seven months of pregnancy, the baby is supposed to be workable and in a safe stage. Thus, the celebration is generally at the end of the seventh month or in the eighth month to welcome the little one to the family. This factually fill the mother-to-be’s lap with gifts and fruits to bless her with the profuse joys of motherliness.
Celebration of Shadh Ceremony
The first Shadh Ceremony is performed on the 5th month of pregnancy, the ‘Panchammrita’ and the second on the 7th month, the ‘Saptammrita’. These two are mostly for wishing the well beings of would be mother and her unborn child. The ritual may consist of decorating the woman with jewellery, filling her lap with gifts and laying out a feast before her with singing and dancing. It is a women’s ritual which is also marked with a reasonable amount of teasing and fun with the would-be mother. It might include some games such as guessing the gender of the baby by the size and shape of the mother’s belly.
The woman is also blessed with gifts to help out her get ready for her baby. Such gifts may include clothing for the baby, favourable charms such as silver bangles and cash. The first item to be eaten with rice will usually be ‘shukto’, a bitter vegetable dish that is supposed to stimulate the appetite and be beneficial to the liver. Several other vegetable dishes and ‘dal’ will follow. Then one or multiple preparations of fish are a part of the meal - all depends on family tradition and personal preference. But except for strictly vegetarian families, the shadh cannot be served without fish whose protean symbolism is woven through the fabric of life in Bengal. In this delta crisscrossed by a thousand rivers, fish is naturally a harbinger of fertility and prosperity. It is a great way for the family to come together and celebrate the coming of a new member at the same time as giving the mother-to-be support.