Seemantham is a ceremony performed for pregnant women in the Southern states of India and some parts of Sri Lanka. Parents conduct this ceremony for the well-being of the child and the mother. It is also an occasion when the family takes their blessings from the elders of the family. The Valaikappu ceremony performed in conjunction with this function also includes the donning of the Seemantham bangles by the women of the family on the pregnant lady’s hands.
Seemantham Bangles Ceremony
The Seemantham and Valaikappu ceremonies are performed in the 7th month of pregnancy. The mother-to-be is donned in a new saree, with flowers in her hair and fine ornaments after a bath in holy water in a ceremony called Udakashanti. The husband gives her turmeric wishing her a safe delivery.
The most significant Seemantham bangles are ones made of glass.
The Seemantham bangles were traditionally only of green and red colours. Women wear multicoloured bangles, and they look beautiful anyway. The bangles are removed from the hands only when the woman has the initial delivery pangs. These are usually given to the midwife who took care of the delivery in the olden times.
The holy verses recited by the elders and the good words uttered by all the members of the family and friends while putting on the Seemantham bangles are supposed to impact the foetus positively. Valai stands for bangles and kappu stands for protection.
The wrists of a woman are very active parts of her body. It is purported that the clanging Seemantham bangles keep up the circulation by continually rubbing against the wrists. This improved circulation helps the nerves to keep the foetus in an active state in the womb.
Seemantham bangles worn on the hands of the mother-to-be are the ones that are functional in binding the new family members closer together.