Custom & Tradition In Rajasthan
The origin of the customs and traditions of
Rajasthan is easily traceable to the cantos of the Vedas, wherein
specific rites and ceremonies are prescribed in the minutest detail
for the Samskaras in the life of every man and woman. The Customs
and traditions of Rajasthan are the Rajasthani version of these
Vedic rites and rituals. The Rajasthani people have religiously
followed the dictum of the Vedas at every stage from birth till
death. They have added some regional rites and rituals to these
Vedic ceremonies. According to the Vedas every man has to perform
certain ceremonies, known as Samskaras, from birth to death. Sixteen
in number, they mainly relate to three major events in one's life
i.e., birth, marriage and death.
Charms are fastened round the neck and waist and
a knife put under her pillow at night to avert the evil eye. She is
not allowed to go for near mahua, khakra or khejara tree where
spirits are believed to reside. It is customary that the daughter
returns to her parents well in time for her first delivery.
Festivities start and women assemble to sing songs specially meant
for such an occasion, some describing the changing behavior and
liking of a pregnant woman.
When the birth pangs begin, the woman is given
some butter oil to drink to help facilitate the delivery. A cow dung
cake is kept burning constantly, into which drops of butter-oil and
some incense is cast from time to time and offerings are made to
gods to ensure a safe and easy child-birth. Promises are made and
vows taken that if the child is safely born parents will take the
infant to the deity in due course and offer obeisance in person by
shaving off the hair on head the baby. If the birth pains are
excessive or unbearable, sorcerers help is resorted to. Many women,
to checkmate such an eventuality, start to wear charms prescribed by
wizards as soon as they realize that the pregnancy has occurred.
When the child is born, the naval cord is cut
with a scythe and the child rubbed with wheat flour and given a
bath. The cord and the placenta are buried carefully by the new
fathers sister to prevent their coming in the possession of any
animal, evil spirit or magician. The birth of the child is announced
by midwife, the nayan-wife of the family barber or by a senior
relatives and close friends and ties strings of mango leaves at
their doors and with the help of cow dung or red earth draws a
swastika, a symbolic representation of Sun, as a sign of good wishes
and good news on the occasion
The woman is given a partial bath after the
delivery. A regular bath is given on the sixth or seventh day when
she is dressed ceremoniously and is brought out from the delivery
room by the younger brother of the husband to worship the Sun. the
baby, anointed with oil and lamp-black put on the eye-line and a red
or blue string tied round its waist, is brought out along with her.
Both are then taken in a procession to the village well for worship
Although the birth of a son is the most welcome
event, a daughter in the family is also considered essential.
Parents who are not blessed with a daughter to offer in marriage
feel themselves unfortunate, as kanyadan- bestowing of daughter is
one of the samskaras- religious obligations prescribed by the
tradition without which ones life is not considered complete.
Children are named usually after gods and goddesses. The tribal
folks name their children after the genius presiding over the days
on which they are born.
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