When should I do the Vidyarambham function for my child?
Which year should I do the Vidyarambham for my child?
Where to perform the ezhuthiniruthu ceremony?
This article gives an answer to all these questions.
Siddhir Bhavatu Me Sada
Initiating your little one into the world of letters – that is a momentous occasion. That is why the Vidyarambham is an important day.
That is the day when your little one is either amused at what is happening or bawling his or her lungs out in protest to what is being done. This is the day all parents hope that their little one takes to learning with throwing a fit and enjoy doing so.
Memories of my own Vidyarambham:
I do not remember much about my Vidyarambam. I do remember that it was done at my dad’s aunt’s house.
The ceremony was done by my dad’s uncle as my dad and uncles weren’t able to come down. But I realized that ezhuthiniruthu on vijayadashami was an important event for the ones who were all set to start their schooling.
After the ceremony was over my dad’s uncle who I used to call valyammavan, blessed me by saying, “May you be a great writer”. Well, forget the great part, but I certainly fell in love with books!!!
What does Vidyarambham for kids mean?
‘Vidya’ means knowledge and ‘Arambham’ means to start or to begin.
Vidyarambham is the day a child is formally inducted into the world of education.
In olden days it meant that the little one could now begin study of the alphabets. Now it means he/she is ready to join the playschool.
Old or new, essence of this ritual remains the same. It is also called Ezhithiniruthu or Aksharabhyasam depending on the state you are in.
Vidyarambham is a part of the Navaratri festival as it is done on the tenth day of Navaratri, also called Vijayadashami. It is followed in South India. While the rituals may have slight variations in terms of the place and state, the essence is the same.
Though the Navaratri is not celebrated with a lot of fervor, ezhuthiniruthu in Kerala is a pretty big deal, especially with people of other religions joining in nowadays.
The rituals listed here are followed in Kerala.
What is the right age to perform vidyarambham for kids?
It is done before your kid goes to school, so if you are planning to send him to play school early, you can perform this on the Vijayadashami before your kid starts school. Usually it is done between 2 years and 3 years of age.
Where is Ezhuthiniruthu ceremony popularly done?
The popular choice is the Kollur Mookambika Temple in Karnataka. You don’t require any advance booking here, but there is a big rush for the slots. So it is advisable to reach the previous night and stay in a hotel.
From being observed by only hindu’s earlier, Vidyarambham has found more followers in the modern times as there is no religion when it comes to knowledge.
Nowadays schools, churches, mosques have started holding this ceremony for the followers who wish to attend.
Famous writers, teachers, politicians, priests and imams conduct the ceremonies as gurus.
Thunchan Parambu is another place where people flock to for their child’s vidyarambham. It is the home of Thunchattu Ramanujan Ezhuttacchan- the father of Malayalam language. This is yet another secular ground where vidyarambham is conducted.
You can also do your child’s vidyarambham at home.
If you are wondering if doing it at home makes it any less special, the answer is NO.
If you are performing this ceremony in a temple no special muhurtam or timing is required, however if you are doing this at home do check for the auspicious time when it can be done.
How to perform the ceremony?
This part will come in handy for parents who are planning to do a quiet ceremony at home. The person who performs this is called Guru (teacher).
Since olden days the teacher had a very important place in one’s life. They are revered for they give us an important gift. The gift of knowledge.
In temples, it can be done by a priest (if it is not crowded). Otherwise the child’s grandfather, father or uncle will be the guru. The child will be seated on the lap of the guru.
He will hold the index finger of the child and write the following mantra on a plate full of rice grains or sand.
OM HARI SRI GANAPATAYE NAMAHA
After this he will take a golden ring and write the same mantra on the child’s tongue.
As you know all the rituals and ceremonies that we perform have some underlying meaning to it.
The guru makes the child write on rice. Rice denotes prosperity.
Through the mantra we are asking the blessings of Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.
The mantra is written on the tongue with gold to seek the blessing of Goddess Saraswati.
This simple ceremony reminds us that knowledge is the most valuable possession one can acquire during his lifetime.
Dress Code for your little one during the Vidyarambham ceremony:
Since it is an auspicious occasion, the child should take a bath before the function. You can dress up your little girl in a pattu paavadai (silk skirt and blouse) or dhoti and your little boy in a small mundu (dhoti).
What all to carry if planning the vidyarambham ceremony at temple?
For those of you planning it at a temple, mind you, the crowd can be huge. It can also mean a bit of waiting. I realize some of you mommies have got alarm bells going in your head due to the two words- Crowds and Hot.
As you know, crowds plus heat is equal to a cranky baby. To avoid this make sure you do the following things.
- Carry some water or milk
The last thing you want is a dehydrated kid. If you reach his regular feeding time, do feed your child.
- Carry some light snacks
The long waiting hours or waking up early can make the kid fussy. You can ease his troubles by offering him/ her some snacks like biscuits, teacakes etc.
- Dress for comfort
Make sure your child is dressed comfortably; the crowds can make it hot.
- Carry items for the ceremony
Make sure you are carrying everything required for the ceremony. Different places have different regulations, so plan accordingly.
- Be there early if required
If you stay far from the temple, it is advisable to go a day early.
- Carry a well-stocked baby bag
Make sure you are carrying essentials like a spare dress, diapers, wet wipes to tackle any emergency.
- Carry a disposable bag
You may not find a dustbin around. So carrying a bag will ensure that you don’t dirty the surroundings.
You can also read this post on Travelling with an Infant or Toddler Made Easy.
I hope you mommas enjoyed this article on vidyarambham for kids.
Doubts, queries, suggestions, comments – feel free to share it with us.
So to all the moms whose little ones will begin their journey into their world of knowledge – Congratulations from Bumps n Baby.
May you be called to school for all the right reasons!!