Sikh Ceremony Of Naming A Child


1947-2014 (Archived)
This is a Sikh ceremony of naming a child and it usually takes place in a Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship) after the baby and mother are medically and physically fit to attended the Gurdwara. There is no limit or threshold to this timing and the family should not feel undue pressure of any kind as to the timing. The only matters that need to be taken into account is the well being of the mother and child. It normally just involves the main family members attending at the local Gurdwara.

As soon as the family is ready to undertake this ceremony, the father or other senior member of the family should make contact with their local Gurdwara and make arrangements for this brief ceremony.

On the day of this happy occasion, the family, all invited guests, the mother, and baby go to attend the normal weekly kirtan gathering of the Saadh Sangat, the holy congregation. The family should make arrangements to have Karah Prasad made for the occasion. Various Shabads of thanks, joy and support should be sung in the congregation followed by the short Anand Sahib (6 pauris). Then if a Sahaj Paath has been arranged, the Bhog of this reading should take place.

Then comes the main part of the ceremony which is the naming to the baby. The Ardas is done in the normal way with a request to Guru ji to grant the child good health; make him or her a dedicated Sewadar of the country & Panth; to enlighten the name of his family and Dharma; and to ask for a name for the child. The Ardas is followed by the Hukamnama. When the Hukamnama is taken, the first letter of the first word of the Hukam is the letter to be used to give the name to the child. So for example if the Hukam is:

The first word of the Hukam is "Sagal" so the child's name should start with the first letter, which is "S".

Once you have chosen the name for the baby, the word "Kaur" is added to the names of girls and the name "Singh" is added to the names of boys. The Gianni will pronounce the name of the child in the Sangat and hail the Jakara – Jo bole so nay-hal – Sat Siri Akal.

That completes the ceremony. The parents should then begin calling the child with the name pronounced in the Sangat and this should be then registered with the legal authorities.


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1947-2014 (Archived)
I just noticed looking at the picture -- This is a baby line-up. There are 2 mothers a least in line, one in red and one in pink. And two babies wrapped up in nice fluffy blankets.


1947-2014 (Archived)
A quick note based on some article feedback. The account here of naming a baby is pretty standard, but there are exceptions. Depending on sangat, this ceremony can be as basic as simply picking a name, or as detailed as described in the article. The Sikh Rehat Maryada describes the ceremony, and the description is not so different from that in the article

Chapter 11

Ceremonies pertaining to Birth and Naming of Child
Article XVII

(a) In a Sikh’s household, as soon after the birth of a child as the mother becomes capable of moving about and taking bath (irrespective of the number of days which that takes), the family and relatives should go to a gurdwara with Karah Parshad (sacred pudding) or get Karah Parshad made in the gurdwara and recite in the holy presence of the Guru Granth Sahib such hymns as “parmeshar ditta banna” (Sorath M. 5), “Satguru sache dia bhej” (Asa M. 5)) that are expressive of joy and thankfulness. Thereafter if a reading of the holy Guru Granth Sahib had been taken up, that should be concluded. Then the holy Hukam (command) should be taken. A name starting with the first letter of the hymn of the Hukam (command) should be proposed by the granthi (man in attendance of the holy book) and, after its acceptance by the congregation, the name should be announced by him. The boy’s name must have the suffix “Singh” and the girl’s, the suffix “Kaur”.