How do you welcome a newborn into this world? Western traditions are pretty straightforward, when it comes to meeting your bundle of joy for the first time, bringing the baby home and making sure that everything is just perfect.
A long time ago, people relied on rituals and traditions to help them with making the most of parenthood.
When you choose a name for your child, for example, you think about the hidden meaning and power of the name. When you choose a godparent – you think about strong person that could be a positive role model in your child’s life. Each of these decisions is deeply rooted in your beliefs and the manner in which you perceive the world.
Modern times haven’t changed newborn baby traditions all that much. Every country has highly specific rituals that revolve around newborns. Every family welcomes a new member on the basis of cultural specifics.
China: Full Moon Party
According to Chinese traditions, the first month is a truly important period. A special ceremony takes place on a full moon and all celebrate the first month of life. Relatives and friends gift the newborn with gold and silver jewelry coins, toys, and clothes.
The parents also give their friend and relative presents as a sign of gratitude. A red egg is among the most common presents that parents give to others. Naturally, it has symbolic meaning – the egg symbolizes harmony and red is for happiness.
Brazil: a Gift for Every Visitor
If you have a chance to visit a newborn in Brazil, you will get a present. According to the tradition, every person that visits a mother and a newborn baby receives a souvenir, a perfume or a small notebook.
Japan: Wooden Boxes and Family Ties
Japanese mothers, just like many moms across the globe, preserve the navel string. When they give birth in the hospital, they get a wooden box. In the box sometimes they find a small doll dressed in a kimono. The mom can unfold the kimono and put the navel string there. Japanese people believe the tradition keeps the bond between mother and child strong.
Trinidad and Tobago: Give Me the Money!
Every person who visits a newborn in the south Caribbean country has to put money in the baby’s tiny hand. People believe that the gift will bring the child prosperity and fortune.
Puerto Rico: Protection against the Evil Eye
Every newborn in Puerto Rico wears a bracelet with a pendant depicting a fist. Parents believe that the bracelet will protect the baby against the evil eye and will bring luck.
Korea: Great Grandmother Sends Babies to their Mums
According to Korean beliefs, there is a great grandmother named Samshin Halmoni who sends babies to their mothers. Some Korean babies are born with blue spots on their bottoms. According to beliefs, great grandmother Samshin slaps babies on their bottoms to give them courage when the time has come for them to enter this world.
India: the Forbidden Part of the Kitchen
In some parts of India, people believe a mom shouldn’t enter the kitchen for the first 45 days after the baby is born. They believe that the gas stove could make the mom incapable of breastfeeding.
Israel: Special Ceremonies for a Boy and for a Girl
Eight days after a baby boy is born in Israel, a special ceremony called Brit Milah takes place. The baby is blessed and friends and relatives give presents. There is no special date for a babu girl’s the ceremony. The girl will usually be named during this ceremony. After both types of ceremonies, there will be a festive meal.
The Bahamas: a Navel String in the Yard
When the baby’s navel string falls off, it has to be buried in the yard, or so Bahamian people think. It is believed that the ritual will enable a child to always find the way home. According to another Bahamian tradition, a black ribbon has to be tied to the newborn’s hand to protect it from the evil eye.