Moving into a new home is a momentous occasion for us and our new journey begins with the Grihapravesh puja and ceremony. Different cultures have their own unique ways of organizing grihapravesh, but the primary purpose is largely the same. Grihapravesh puja and ceremony are organized in reverence to the gods and it signifies a solemn prayer to be blessed with peace, prosperity and happiness in the new abode.
Grihapravesh is usually organized on an auspicious date and time, as determined through astrological charts by the priest. It is believed that conducting grihapravesh at an auspicious time brings good luck and good fortune to the residents of the new home. The right time for grihapravesh usually coincides with festive celebrations such as Dussehra, Onam, Ugadi, Akshaya Tritiya, etc.
As grihapravesh signifies a major milestone in our lives, it makes sense to make it a memorable and joyous occasion for the entire family and guests as well. If you are looking for some guidance, here are 10 ways to organize the best grihapravesh.
#1. Find the most auspicious date and time:
If you have a family priest, you can consult them to find an auspicious date and time for the grihapravesh. Independent vastu consultants are also available, who can guide you in finding an auspicious time for the grihapravesh. Astrologers specializing in religious ceremonies can also be hired for this purpose. When the puja and rituals are done as per astrological charts and vastu requirements, it will help eliminate the negative energies in the house and ensure the best outcomes.
#2. Prepare the guest list:
Grihapravesh ceremonies are usually meant for your closest relatives and friends. Everything has to be done in the new home, so the guest list will have to be limited. For example, it would be quite chaotic if you invite more than 100 people for the grihapravesh of your 2BHK flat. There won’t be enough space to accommodate such a large number of people and other stuff required for the grihapravesh.
#3. Invite the neighbors:
Inviting everyone in the building or neighborhood may not be possible, but you can certainly invite your nearest neighbors. For example, if you have purchased an apartment, you can invite residents living on the same floor. Prominent people in the society such as society president, secretary, and others can also be invited for the grihapravesh. It would be great to personally visit your new neighbors and formally invite them for the grihapravesh.
#4. Choose a decoration theme:
Decorating the house will be an important task, as an empty house is likely to be distasteful. You can choose various decoration themes such as exquisite rangolis, beautiful flower garlands & bouquets, colorful balloons & ribbons, LED lighting, etc. Traditionally, flowers and rangolis are preferred, but you can customize as per your specific tastes and preferences. Just consult with the priest to ensure it does not conflict with the grihapravesh puja.
#5. Add some decor items:
All your household stuff will be moved to your new home after the grihapravesh. However, you can add a few decor items to enhance the look and feel of your home. For example, you can add some vases, sculpture or lamps in the corners. On the walls, you can hang some paintings or wall art. Add only a limited amount of stuff, as you will need the space to accommodate your guests.
#6. Finalize the menu:
In most communities, vegetarian food is served during grihapravesh ceremonies. The food served should be in line with traditional customs, so, you may need to consult the priest to finalize the menu. You can choose versatile items that are liked by most people. Recipes that use commonly used vegetables, dairy products, lentils, and wholegrain would be preferable. Snacks and drinks could be served initially when guests arrive. The meal will be served after the grihapravesh puja has been completed.
#7. Make a proper seating arrangement:
Grihapravesh ceremonies usually require people to sit down on the floor for the puja or yajna. Make sure you have comfortable rugs or mattresses placed on the floor. The ceremony can be long and people should not feel discomfort when they are participating in the puja. The rugs and mattresses should be clean since dirty stuff can create conflict with the grihapravesh puja and its objective of purifying the surroundings.
#8. Welcome the guests:
Senior members of the family should be there at the entrance to welcome the guests. The entrance should not be left unattended, as it would amount to disrespect for the guests. Flower garlands can be used to welcome the guests and make them feel special. Based on religious customs, ‘tilak’ can be applied on the forehead of guests. A quick tour of the house and premises can also be organized for the guests so that they can familiarize themselves with the surroundings and feel at home.
#9. Fun activities for the kids:
Some kids may get bored during grihapravesh puja and their subsequent restlessness and impatience might inconvenience the guests. To keep the kids occupied, some games and activities can be organized for them in another room or the corridor. An adult can be posted to supervise their activities and to ensure their safety.
#10. Thank everyone:
When the grihapravesh ceremony has been completed and guests are about to leave, you should meet everyone to express your gratitude. Share some nice words and thank them for taking the time to participate in the grihapravesh. Genuine expressions will help build the right relations and provide the perfect ending to the grihapravesh.
Organizing grihapravesh on your own can be an engaging experience, as you will get to learn so many things about our rich culture and traditions. However, if you have a busy work schedule, it would be more convenient to hire an event management firm that specializes in religious ceremonies such as grihapravesh. This approach would be most appropriate for the young generation, who may not have known about the traditional ways of conducting grihapravesh. You can also seek tips, advise and help from relatives, friends and colleagues who may have experience in conducting a grihapravesh.