Reasons We Celebrate Valaipkappu
To Bless the New Mom
Valaikappu is a religious Hindu ceremony very much like a baby shower. A Valaikappu ceremony is typically hosted by the parents of the expecting mother on the seventh of ninth month of her pregnancy. This ceremony is performed due to various reasons. There is of course a religious significance behind the performance of this ceremony and also a social one. The expectant mother is believed to be susceptible to malign spirits and also to the evil eye. The Valaikappu ceremony is therefore performed to bless her and the yet to be born baby and to protect them from all negative influences. There is usually a puja ceremony, overseen by a priest, who chants mantras from sacred texts and then the elders of the house bestow their blessings and good wishes on the new mother.
To Prepare Her for the Pregnancy
Giving birth is no easy business. But due to the incredible developments in modern medicine, going through labour is not at all a life threatening ordeal. But this was not the case earlier and Valaikappu was a way to prepare the new mother for a safe and successful birth. Nowadays Valaikappu has become a social function rather than a lifesaving procedure. But there are certain rituals associated with the ceremony that are believed to be beneficial to the baby.
Like the putting on of glass bangles for instance; it’s thought that the tinkling sound of the glass bangles relaxes the baby, awakens it’s senses and ensures a hassle free labour. The singing of hymns and the sounds of chanting are also believed to have a similar positive effect. The foods served at Valaikappu, mainly consist of various kinds of fruits, rice preparations etc. all of which are full of nutrients which are beneficial to the health of the mother and the child. After the completion of the Valaikappu ceremony the expectant mother stays at her parents’ house till the date of her pregnancy. It’s supposed to be a period of resting and preparation for her.
To Celebrate the Birth of an Individual
The most important reason behind the celebrating of Valaikappu is of course to herald the birth of a newborn in the family. A pregnancy in the family is always a cause for celebration in most cultures. In the west people have baby showers which are a kind of party thrown to celebrate the pregnancy. Valikappu is a similar ritual, but with a traditional link to it. Nowadays Valikappu has become a social function. Apart from religious rituals, people get together, bring gifts for the new mother and partake in the celebratory feast. Valaikappu parties have become quite common. Some people choose to keep it simple; others hire decorators, caterers, and even give out little party favours.
10 Best Valaikappu Gifts for an Expecting Mother
The wearing of glass bangles is an essential part of the Valaikappu ceremony. Traditionally red and green glass bangles are used for the ritual. But you can wear other colours as well. The bangles are worn on both hands in odd numbers. A box of glass bangles would be a fitting gift for Valaikappu ceremony. Buy this multicolour glass bangle set from New Make in India. This set contains glass bangles of 12 different colours, including red and green. There are 12 bangles of each colour. The bangles have a diameter of 2.4 inches. These bangles have a ridged design. They would go great with any ethnic look. Buy a set of 12 from amazon.in for ₹599.
Healthy Gourmet Snacks
Getting cravings for various kinds of foods is a natural part of pregnancy. But an expectant mother also needs to take care of her health which will consecutively affect that of the babies. So get her something that will take care of those sudden hunger pangs but in a healthy way. This Healthy Binge Box from TheGourmetbox.in is the perfect Valaipkappu gift.
This goodie basket is filled with all kinds of delicious edibles. The hamper includes a pack of flavoured granola, a jar of flavoured dried fruit, a jar of nut butter and a mini jar of flavoured creamed honey. All of these are packaged into a beautiful gift box tied with a ribbon and comes with a personalised gift tag with a special message for the receiver. All the food items are a 100% organic and free of any king of harmful preservatives or chemicals. Buy this beautiful, healthy and tasty box for ₹950.
South Cotton Sari
Sarees are one of those traditional Valaikappu gifts that have never lost their popularity. In the later stages of pregnancy when none of the clothes fit saris can come to the rescue. Saris are one of the few garments that have ample fabric to accommodate the growing belly. Wearing a sari is also mandatory during the Valaipkappu ceremony. Saris can make a woman feel beautiful whatever shape or size she is in and unlike maternity clothing, she can wear the sari even after the pregnancy is over. Therefore for a Valaikappu gift you could definitely consider a sari.
This beautiful pink and yellow check south cotton Kamal sari with golden zari border would make any woman look beautiful. It’s soft, light weight and made of pure cotton. It has a length of 5.5 m and comes with a blouse piece measuring 0.7 m. Buy this sari from ajio.com for ₹650.
Eating fruits during pregnancy is beneficial to the health of the mother and the baby. Fresh fruits contain essential nutrients and some of them contain folic acid which is recommended during pregnancy. Get the expecting mother a fruit basket for Valaikappu. This basket form myfloralkart.com contains 3 kg of delicious fruits like apples, bananas, two kinds of grapes- red and green, and oranges. These fruits are delicious and healthy at the same time. They come packed in a wicker basket which adds to the appeal of the gift. Buy this colourful fruit basket for ₹999.
If the mother to be is a chocolate lover then her love for the stuff will increase ten folds during the pregnancy. During pregnancy it’s common for the mother to crave sweet stuff and chocolate is a favourite amongst most expecting women. Treat her by gifting this Chocolaty Goodness Box from thegourmetbox.in. This hamper contains a container of dark chocolate flavoured popcorn, a jar of flavoured drinking chocolate, a pack of dark chocolate and sea salt waffle chips and 2 chocolate flavoured health bars.
These delicious goodies will help the pregnant woman indulge herself without forsaking the health factor. The contents are delivered in a beautiful box tied with a ribbon and a personalised gift tag. Buy this beautiful gift box for ₹525.
A lot of women have the problem of swollen painful feet at the later stages of the pregnancy. Massages and hot wraps can soothe aching feet to an extent. But a good foot cream would help a lot in healing swollen pregnancy feet. Swollen feet can develop cracks and that can worsen the situation. This Avocado Foot Cream from Fabindia is perfect for providing nourishment to distressed feet.
It is enriched with the richness of avocado and beeswax which are natural sources of moisturiser and also soothes dry swollen feet. Regular use of Fabindia Avocado Foot Cream helps heal cracked foot skin and dry feet. The quickly absorbing formula gets into the pores of the skin quickly and provides instant results. It keeps the feet moist, hydrated, soft and supple. A 100 ml tub of this cream costs around ₹320 on fabindia.com.
Pregnancy Milestone Sticker
During the pregnancy one question that the mother gets asked a lot is what month or week of the pregnancy she is in. Gift her something that will let her share that with the world without opening her mouth. These Pregnancy Milestone Stickers a multicolor pack of 16 stickers from Pearhead will let the world know about the fetus’ progress.
Each sticker features a picture of a fruit corresponding to the size of the baby. It starts at 8 weeks, when the baby is the size of a raspberry and ends at 40 weeks with the picture of a watermelon, which is approximately the size of the baby at the time of delivery. These stickers can be easily attached to the clothing. With these stickers the new mom can take pictures and share her progress on social media or pregnancy forums. Buy a set of 16 stickers for ₹997 from firstcry.com.
Gifting precious metals at ceremonies is a common practice in India. Blessing the new mother to be is an important part of Valaikappu rituals and a great way to do that would be to gift her something auspicious. This beautiful silver coin from Arihant Jems and Jewels has been embossed with the images of the God Ganesh and the Goddess Lakshmi. It’s a 10 gm coin made of silver. Buy this beautiful coin for ₹799 from amazon.in.
One thing that’s absolutely necessary during the pregnancy is to stay comfortable. The growing belly presents a lot of problem to the new mother. Sleeping in a comfortable position becomes hard as additional support is needed to accommodate all that extra weight. Give the to-be-mother this cyan C Shaped Pregnancy Pillows With Cotton Zippered Covers from Coozly.
This contains fine fibres which are shredded to the finest denier for a seamless feeling. The fibres used are hypoallergenic and non-reflexive. The cover is made of cotton fabric. You can get printed or coloured base fabric so that your pillow looks good even without a cover. This pillow shape is perfect for pregnant women as it provides support when sleeping on the side. It has extra wide arms for side body support. It will even come in use after the pregnancy is over for breastfeeding.
The pillow and components are completely safe as they are free from phthalate, latex, lead, and BPA. The outer circumference of the pillow is 120 inches or 305 cm. The length is 90 in or 229 cm, width is 45 in or 115 cm, height is 8.5 in or 22 cm and weighs 3.5 kg. Buy this super comfortable for ₹1999 from amazon.in.
Maintaining a calm and relaxing atmosphere in the home is a must during the pregnancy period. Aromatherapy has been proven to be a successful method for relaxation. Burning essential oils not only makes the room smell great but also relaxes the senses, helps clear the mind and aids in sleep. Buy the expecting mother this aromatherapy set from Pure Source India.
It includes a dark blue colour ceramic aroma burner with 10 ml bottle of lavender aroma oil and 4 tea light candles. These smoke less t-lights measure around 3.5 x 3 inch. The diffuser has a water carrying capacity of about 30 to 40 ml. Lavender oil is a proven sleep aid and it’s aromatic qualities also helps relieve stress which may be common in the later stages of pregnancy. Buy this set for ₹297 from amazon.in.
Put a Modern Spin on Valaikappu
Valaikappu is a traditional ceremony. But the new generation doesn’t always like to strictly adhere by the rules. A lot of people are therefore honouring the traditions by putting a modern spin on them. Valaikappu parties are becoming increasingly popular. They are quite like an Indian baby shower and in addition to the religious ceremonies, Valalaikappu parties have everything that a party would have except for alcohol of course.
Gifts are given to the expecting mother and usually include things which would aid the mother during the pregnancy period and also post pregnancy. Giving out return gifts or party favours are also quite in vogue now. Return gifts include small religious idols, silver coins, customised chocolate boxes, dry fruit boxes, sweets, mason jars filled with candies, personalised stationary sets etc.
Traditional south Indian food is served on Valaikappu along with various kinds of fruits and sweetmeats. Coconut is a popular choice among fruits. Therefore coconut based sweets and coconut flavoured ice cream can also be served. The food usually consists of several kinds of rice like tomato rice, lemon rice, tamarind rice and curd rice. These can be accompanied with chutneys and stir fried vegetables. You can serve non-alcoholic beverages like virgin Pina-coladas, virgin mojitos, coconut water and juices.
Baby gifts can come later
This ceremony is all about the mother and preparing her for the birth of the child, so while the baby is an essential part of it, for now focus on the mother. Wait for the baby to be born before giving her baby products. At this stage she will be far more appreciative of things that can be useful for her and ease some of the discomfort associated with pregnancy. Her health and well-being as just as important.