Different traditions from around the world to welcome a new baby
Every family in any community in the world have their own way to welcome the arrival of a new baby. Those celebrations include different rituals and traditions from the different cultures.
Some of these rituals go back to hundreds of years and are still performed until this date.
Below are some of the fascinating traditions from around the wold to welcome a new baby.
Sebooh in Egypt
This is a popular tradition in Egypt that still takes place until this day. The name Sebooh comes from number 7, as in the 7th day.
When the baby turns 7 days, a big family and friends gathering takes place to welcome the new baby to the world. The baby wears white clothes and is placed in a large sieve, that is normally decorated with flowers or sparkle, and then shaken gently. It is believed that this tradition helps the baby get familiar and prepared for life vagaries.
After that, the baby is placed on a blanket on the floor with a knife placed on his chest to ward off evil spirits. The mother then side-steps seven times over the baby’s body, again to ward off evil spirits, while the group sings. This ritual is followed by a candle lighting, with the new mother holding a candle and leading the way while other children and adults follow her while singing cheerfully.
Symbolic items in Armenia
When a baby gets his/ her first tooth in Armenia, parents celebrate with a ceremony called Agra Hadig. They place the baby down on the floor and surround her by different symbolic items, such as a stethoscope, a tape measure, a screwdriver, a book and other symbolic objectives. The parents then encourage the baby to crawl and grab one of the objects.
It is believed that the item that the baby choses symbolises the future of the baby. For example, if the baby goes for the stethoscope, that means he/ she is going to be a doctor. If the baby grabs the tape measure, that means he or she is going to be an architect, and so on.
Full Moon ceremony in China
When a baby turns 1 month in China, a ceremony called Full Moon takes place where all the family gathers to bring gifts to the new baby and family. Parents also bring gifts to their guests, normally red-dyed eggs.
Red colour is a sign of happiness for Chinese, and the oval shape eggs symbolise the long happy life – while the egg itself represents the changing process of life.
Close relatives such as grandparents would normally bring gold or silver jewellery for the baby to demonstrate their love, and the most common is money – also wrapped in red gifting paper.
Sikh community visit the temple
The Sikh community usually welcome the new baby by paying a visit to their temple, typically within 40 days after the baby is born. The priest at the temple opens a random page of their holy book, and reads a passage aloud. The family choses the baby name by using the first letter of the hymn in the opened page, and the baby name is then announced. After that, a sweet authentic dessert is distributed to the gathered group as a way of celebration.
‘Snoneye’ in Syria
The word ‘Snoneye’ comes from the word ‘Sen’ as in tooth in Arabic.
When a baby gets his/ her first tooth in Syria, family and friends and invited to gather and celebrate, and a famous dessert made of cooked wheat grain is served. This old famous tradition is still taking place until this day.
Ambilocal cord burial and tree planting in Jamaica
After a baby is born in Jamaica, the ambilocal cord is buried in a special place, and a tree provided by close family or friends is planted on that same spot.
Jamaicans believe that the tree is a way of teaching the child to take responsibility in life. This tradition comes from a Jamaican expression that say: “Home is where your navel string is buried”.
Money for the baby in Trinidad and Tobago islands
When family or friends visit the baby for the first time in Trinidad and Tobago, they put money in the baby’s hands. This tradition is believed to bring prosperity and happiness to the newborn.
Souvenirs to visitors in Brazil
New moms in Brazil prepare a set of little souvenirs or gifts for visitors who come to welcome the new baby in hospital or at home. The gifts are normally small in size, and can be anything from cute keychains, book dividers, candies or fridge magnets. Those gifts normally carry the baby’s name that is included on each.
This tradition is now adapted by many cultures in the Arab world, and one can see it specially in hospitals as a way of thanking visitors who come to see mom and baby after delivery.
Feet NOT on ground in Bali
In Bali, it is believed that babies are ‘divine’ and their feet should not be touching the ground before they turn 210 days. According to Bali community, babies come from heaven, and when their feet touch the floor on the 210th day, it is then that the baby has ‘crossed’ to the other world and become human!
Head shaving in India
Some Hindu tribes in India shave the baby’s hair as soon as he/ she is born. It is believed that the child’s hair is an unattractive feature from a previous life, and shaving it is a liberation of the child from the past and allows him to progress in the future.
A priest is brought home to perform this ritual, where the baby’s head is covered with a paste of turmeric and sandalwood for soothing and avoiding evil spirits.
Naming ceremony in Japan
When a baby turns 1 week in Japan, family and friends gather to hold a baby naming ceremony called Oshichiya. The baby’s official name is announced in front of the Butsudan – the Buddhist altar that is made at home.
How did you celebrate the arrival of your baby?
Share your different traditions with us and let us know in the comments below.