Agra Hadeeg Teething Party - An Armenian Tradition
What's an Agra Hades Party?
As your child has cut his/her first tooth soon, it's time to begin inviting your friends and relations for an agar hadeeg party. "Agra" means teeth, and "Hadeeg" means kernel (barley or whole wheat). The agar hadeeg party is a "fun" special event. The theory is to discover what your baby's future job will be.
Some tips about what happens: The infant is seated on to the floor and before him/her are positioned items symbolic of the field she or he will get into as a grown-up. Below are a few examples/ideas:
Money - Financial occupation or a wealthy person
World - Traveler
Pencil/Pencil - Writer
Paintbrush - Artist
Book - Instructor, scholar
Hairbrush - someone or Beautician in the wonder field
Wooden spoon - baker or Chef
Stethoscope or plastic material blade - doctor
Toy Aircraft - pilot
Race form ---- you get the essential idea ; )
You are able to basically deposit anything you would like that will have meaning for you.
Which means you have your child seated on to the floor with these items before him/her. A lawn of tulle or gentle netting is kept within the baby's mind and a small amount of the prepared grain (see below for formula) is sprinkled over the infant for good fortune. Then your baby is urged to get the thing that he's most thinking about.
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Of course the infant is confused in regards to what all the hoopla is approximately. But it's an extremely joyful day. After all, who doesn't love infants? As well as the fun of viewing what they shall choose is cause for laughter. And your day doesn't end there. The grouped family will invite the guests to celebrate with supper jointly.
Steps to make Hades
In my own Armenian-American tradition, the grain used for hades is whole wheat grains kernels which you can purchase at the center eastern markets. However in other households, whole barley can be used as well, which is more offered by the supermarket or grocery store readily. Either way, the symbolism and texture is the same. The tiny kernels are symbolic of little tooth. And being that the grain swells in quantity when cooked, it is symbolic of a good amount of fortune for the youngster.
If you are using wheat, soak it overnight for faster planning. If you are using barley, soaking is not essential. It will expand, so if you would like two mugs of completed product, use a glass or less slightly.
In the event that you overnight soaked the wheat, rinse and drain it. Boil the grain in clean drinking water until tender. Wash and drain and invite to cool.
The cooked grain is exactly what you shall use to sprinkle on the infant before they grab the items. And then what you do with it depends upon you and your guests afterward.
What I love to do is then add sugars and cinnamon to the wheat or combine and barley it. And have a range of items which are added from your guests to the hadeeg (such as a hadeeg buffet). Typically, some tips about what is put into the hadeeg:
chopped almonds or walnuts
currants or raisins
chopped dates or apple
But still others shall add vegetables to the hadeeg as a wholesome salad adding cucumbers, tomatoes, lemon, red onion, olive seasonings and oil. If you go the savory path, do not add cinnamon and sugars.
However, you opt to make your hadeeg (wheat or barley, fairly sweet or savory), no matter. The primary idea is to get with your friends and relations and enjoy your beautiful baby collectively, this new milestone and the love that you all talk about together!