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Halwa Ceremony

Halwa Ceremony:

The ‘halwa ceremony’, which marks the final stage of the Union Budget-preparation, took place recently, at the Finance Ministry headquarters in New Delhi.

  • ‘Halwa’ ceremony is a customary pre-Budget event that formally flags off the printing of different documents associated with the Budget and marks the final stage of the Union Budget-preparation.
  • It involves the preparation of the traditional dessert ‘halwa’ in a massive kadhai (wok) which is then served to the entire staff in the Finance ministry.
  • The finance minister gives the go-ahead by stirring the kadhai and serving the sweet to officials.
  • It takes place in the basement of the Finance Ministry’s North Block in Central Delhi, where a special printing press is located.
  • After the ‘halwa ceremony’, officials involved in the Budget-making process are ‘locked in’ at the North Block.
  • They are kept in absolute isolation and completely cut off from the outside world till the finance minister finally presents the Budget.
  • The “lock-in” which follows the ‘halwa ceremony’ is observed to maintain the secrecy of the Budget preparation process.