Pumsavana

Different varieties of sweets served on a Pumsavana function.

Pumsavana (Sanskrit: पुंसवन, Puṁsavana) (literally: quickening the fetus, or engendering a male or female issue) is the second of the 16 saṃskāras (sacraments, rite of passage) in ancient texts of Hinduism.[1] The rite of passage is celebrated in the third or fourth month of pregnancy, typically after the pregnancy begins to show but before the baby begins to move in the womb.

Background

Pumsavana is one of the 16 sanskara in Hinduism, which are rites of deciding the gender of the fetus in early stages of a woman's pregnency( third or fourth month), early steps for his welcome into the world in the presence of friends and family, then various stages of life (Ashrama (stage)) such as first learning day, graduation from school, wedding and honeymoon, pregnancy, raising a family, as well as those related to final rites associated with cremation.[2] These rites of passage are not uniform, and vary within the diverse traditions of Hinduism. Some may involve formal ceremonies, yajna (fire) ceremonies with the chanting of Vedic hymns. Others are simple, private affairs.[2]

These rites of passage in Hinduism are found in the numerous Dharmasutras and Grhyasutras dated from the 1st millennium BCE.[3][4][5]