Upanayanam is a popular south Indian ceremony which is performed when a Brahmin child reaches 8 years of age. Also known as Poonal Kalyanam (white thread), this ceremony ensures that the child becomes eligible to learn the Vedas.
Family of the boy perform this ceremony. During this, a sacred white thread along with deer skin and brahma mudichi (brahma knot) are tied to the child while performing the Gayathri Japa. These three threads stand for Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh (Siva).
The main rituals include Brahmopadesam and Yagnopavidam. Upanayanam is conducted as per the corresponding family Vedas (Yajur, Rig, Adarvana or sama and the Vadhyar). The entire ceremony is performed as per Vedic standards and its mantras. Udaka Shanthi and Nandhi are an important part of this ritual.
The muhurth of the ceremony can be decided based on the birth Nakshatra of the boy.