The Naming Ceremony
Once the child is born, the first ceremony done to the baby is the Namakarnam (naming festival). People of Tamilnadu celebrate this festival grandly. According to the old custom (shastras) two kinds of names are given to the child one is the “Vivahara nama” and the other is “Ragasiya nama”.
The Vivahara name is the one known to all, the Ragasiya name is known only to the family members. It is the belief that the Ragasiya name will protect the child from evil spirits. But this practice is not been followed by many.
Nowadays, names of the child is selected depending on its birth star, nature and its ancestors. Most of the people keep their great grandfathers name to their child, in the belief that their child would be guarded by the sacred soul of these ancestors.
After 30 days of the child birth, namakarnam is conducted (the days may vary from region to region). On this day all the relatives gather at the child’s house, the selected name is first written in rice and then the father of the child recites the name secretly in the ear of the child thrice, this process is repeated by all the family members.
The names usually denotes wealth, harmony, richness, noble character, god or any remarkable personalities. Some people keep the name of Gods, as tribute for their immense blessing.
Places to perform Namakarnam:
Usually Namakarnam is performed in the house, but nowadays people are conducting this festival in famous temples.