How People Around the World Welcome Newborns
In every culture, welcoming a baby to this chaotic world is a happy and significant experience that deserves a celebration. And because every culture is different, we all celebrate in different ways, significant to our traditions, beliefs and habits. To us, our way of welcoming babies might sound normal, but other people might find it very interesting and vice versa. Let’s see some interesting traditions of welcoming newborns from all over the world.
Putting up signs
Since the birth of their nation and even before that, people from Switzerland and the surrounding area still respect an old tradition of erecting a Geburtstafel. A Geburtstafel is a large sign put up in front of the house that informs people that a new baby is living there (it holds the baby’s name and date of birth). This sign is colorful and fun, often depicting a stork delivering a baby.
In Latin America, new mothers and their babies go through something called La Cuarentana or quarantine. This is a six-week-long period of tending to the mother, allowing her to rest, recover and regain their confidence after labor. During La Cuarentana, everyone in the family helps with the newborn, cooking, chores and other siblings. Similarly, in Japan, mothers and babies stay at her parent’s house for 3 weeks so they can relax, focus on the baby and give it all the attention it needs.
Jewish people have a ritual called B’rit Milah, reserved for the baby boys. This includes the babies being circumcised and named. This practice has a long history and it takes place after 8 days from the baby’s birth. This ritual is done everywhere where there are Jewish people. It’s even possible to find experts in bris in South Florida with 30+ years of experience in circumcision. People who find an ordained and certified expert can also book a session that involves choosing a meaningful Hebrew name. Circumcision of baby boys is a popular practice all over the West, both in Hebrew and Christian religions, but it’s only necessary for Judaism.
Burying the placenta
In the beautiful island of Jamaica, the placenta and the umbilical cord that come after the baby’s birth are taken and buried somewhere in or around the house. This spot later gets a tree that’s cared for by the parents. When the baby grows up, they get the responsibility to care for the tree themselves. This is a wonderful ritual that teaches kids responsibility, care and thoughtfulness.
Help from the government
Most places acknowledge and celebrate the birth of the baby, but Finland is one of the rare ones that involve government assistance and congratulations. New mothers and babies are welcomed home from the hospital with a maternity package from the government. This package helps the parents with essentials like clothing, diapers, sheets, toys and many other things. The government constructed this plan to help underprivileged people provide for their babies, but it became available for all people in 1949. Every baby, no matter its status, can get an equally happy and safe start at life. Adoptive parents also get this gift which makes Finland’s welcoming of the newborn even more unique and special.
Full Moon ceremony
China has many traditions connected to newborn babies, but the Full Moon Ceremony might be the most popular one. In China, people don’t celebrate the birth right away, but choose to wait for one month to host a Full Moon Ceremony. This ceremony gathers all the baby’s friends and family who bring gifts. When the guests are ready to go home, they don’t go empty-handed. Instead, they get red-dyed eggs. Why? Well, red is believed to bring happiness, while the egg represents the change we all experience during our lives. Plus, the shape of the egg is symbolic of the longevity of life.
In Egypt, parents wait for one week to give their newborn a name. After one week, the family hosts a Sebou, a naming ceremony that includes placing the baby in a large sieve and rocking it. After that, the baby is placed on the ground, next to a knife. The mother is stepping over the baby seven times while guests watch and cheer. This is a ritual during which the baby gets their name, but also receives protection from evil spirits as well as the sense of the experiences of the real world.
Every baby is a blessing and a miracle and they deserve to be welcomed to this world with all the respect and love. These traditions from all over the planet do just that—celebrate the child and all the things they might become in the future.
Eve Anderson is a marketing specialist turned blogger. Interested in sports and exciting travel destinations. Love to share content that can inform people