Seemantham, Seemanthonayan Sanskar (Godhbharai), Srimantham or Simantkaran Samskara is the 3rd of 16 Sanskaras (Solah Sanskar) in Hindu Dharma. The main objective of Seemantham is to get Saubhagya (long life of husband) and to prevent premature abortion and to protect the pregnant mother along with the growth of the child in the womb.
In South Indian states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, Seemantham is performed in odd months of pregnancy like – 3rd month, 5th month, 7th month or 9th month. But according to the ‘Ashwalayan Gruhya Sutra’, Seemantham is to be performed in 4th or 6th or 8th month of pregnancy.
As per the popular belief, Seemantham is similar ritual to baby shower. But its factually incorrect as the intention of both rituals is entirely different.
In this Samskara, while praying to the God for the health of the child, the husband combs the hair of his wife to please her. Other young and old ladies of the family, relatives and neighbors bless the pregnant woman for a health and easy delivery.
Valaikaapu in Tamil Nadu
Nowadays Seemantham is often combined with a “Valaikaapu” ritual hosted by the pregnant woman’s mother. The Seemantham ceremony is more religious in nature as opposed to the Valaikaapu, which is meant to be an informal function. The ceremony itself has its roots in olden times when women would depend on the local midwife to deliver her child. In order to ease her passage, this ceremony would be performed to invoke blessings.
Seemantham in Telangana & Andhra Pradesh
In the Telangana region and Andhra Pradesh (Telugu speaking people), Seemantham is a celebration performed for the pregnant lady on an auspicious day in either the 5th month or 9th month, as ‘Number 7’ is not considered good luck.
But, in the Andhra region, Seemantham is performed in the 7th month also (In some places).