Why do many Hindus perform the Chhochak ceremony?


It is customary that when a woman is blessed with a son, the child's maternal uncle (mama) and maternal grandfather (nana) present clothes, ornaments and other things to the baby, parents and relatives. This custom is known as chhochak ceremony. It is usually performed along with the namkaran. In many families, this ceremony is performed even when a daughter is born.


When the daughter is getting married the maternal uncle (mama) and maternal grandfather (nana) perform a similar ceremony. Clothes, ornaments and gifts are given to the daughter, the parents and other relatives. A similar ceremony is also performed for the son. These ceremonies are meant to help a daughter at the time of the wedding of her children. In this way the daughter benefits from her father's wealth.


Hindu religious texts have often been wrongly interpreted to mean that only sonls have a right over the father's wealth. Daughters are married young and the responsibility of their living is upon their husbands. It has therefore been customary to offer gifts on these occasions.

In the Manusmriti, 9/130, it is said:


Just as the soul and a son are alike, so are a son and daughter equal.

Manu had devised that daughters be given a share just like sons from the father's estate.


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