Akika/Naamkoron - Naming Ceremony86
Akika or Naamkoron, or the naming ceremony, is a traditional Muslim, as well as Hindu ceremony performed to formally name a baby. In Sanskrit naam means "name" and karan means "to make" or "to effect". The ceremony is considered to be the first step in establishing the identity of a newborn. It is also a joyous occasion for the family to welcome their new arrival.
When should akika or naamkaran take place?
According to Bengali traditions and culture, ‘akika’ is usually performed within a few weeks of the baby's birth. The twelfth day is thought to be the most auspicious day for the ceremony to take place. But it can be held any time before the baby's first birthday.
Where does it take place?
The ceremony is usually held at home/grand parent’s house or at a mosque in some cases. For some families, akikas are a lavish affair. The rituals remain the same, but they tend to be followed by a large feast with lots of guests.
How is akika performed?
The akika ceremony is usually performed by a religious person or the nana/nanu or dada/dadu. After a ritual bath, the baby and his parents are dressed in new clothes. The akika begins with a small prayer for the baby's health and happiness. After the religious rites are performed, the father or mother whispers the baby's chosen name into his/her ear.
Then the name is announced to family members and other friends and relatives. They welcome the baby by his/her name into the family and community. After the ceremony every family member blesses the baby and offers gifts.
What gifts are appropriate for akika/naamkaran ceremonies?
A variety of gifts can be given, including toys, baby clothes, photo frames, silver keepsakes, gold or silver coins, cradles, prams, and even cash. If you are not too sure of what to give, a gift coupon/ voucher from a children’s store maybe an idea.
Read our article on how to make your 1st birthday memorable in our articles section.