Pregnancy is a dream come true for most women. It is the time when a girl truly becomes a woman. It is a time for celebration, not just for you but also for your entire family.
Women around the world mark this beautiful journey towards motherhood with numerous rituals. These rituals are not just a mark of tradition, but also a way to show love and support to the expecting mother.
Let’s take a peek inside families around the world and see how they celebrate babyshower:
Indian rituals mark almost all phases of life. Therefore, it is no surprise that during pregnancy, Indian women go through elaborate rituals to celebrate the forthcoming birth of their babies.
India is a vast country. Every part of India has different ways of celebrating pregnancy:
- In North India, the ritual is known as ‘godh bharaai‘. The celebrations include fun games, amazing food, and gifts galore.
- In Maharashtra, a ritual called Dohaaljewan, celebrates pregnancy.
- In West Bengal, Shaadh is t
- In South India, the celebration involves elaborate rituals and has various names like – Seemantham, Pulikudi or Valaikaapu. The event takes place in the 5th, 7th, or 9th month of pregnancy.
In all these baby rituals, the pregnant woman decks up in traditional finery and is showered with gifts. The women wear bangles to mark the occasion. Family and friends come to give blessings for pregnant mothers and pray for the birth of a healthy baby.
The one thing common across all these various rituals is that people do not get any gifts for the baby. According to the Indian belief system, it is inauspicious to buy gifts for an unborn baby. The superstitious belief may stem from the fact that women born in India are 60% more likely to give birth to stillborn babies (1).
In China, pregnant women and their families offer prayers to the Chinese goddesses Bodhisattva Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) and Jin Hua Fu Ren (Lady Golden Flower). These prayers are for the protection of both the mother and the baby (2).
‘Chá de bebê’ (baby tea) is a party to celebrate pregnancy. A women-only event, it aims at pampering the pregnant woman with gifts and a grand feast.
The Sismoony party is a family ritual that typically takes place one to three months before the baby’s birth. Family and friends of the pregnant woman bring gifts for the unborn baby and indulge in some good-natured fun.
5. South Africa:
The Stork Party, the South African equivalent of a baby shower, takes place when the woman is six months pregnant. A women-only event, stork parties are all about gifts, laughter, and fun!
6. Europe And The Americas:
Baby shower is the popular way to pamper a would-be-mother in Western countries. Guests bring gifts for the arriving baby and indulge the mum-to-be too. Family and friends plan a baby shower as a surprise for the new mother. Originally, baby showers were the opportunity to ensure that the new baby had all that she could need. It was a way to ease the financial burden on the expecting parents.
No matter the country or region, the sentiment behind pregnancy rituals is to celebrate the creation of a new life. Some of these baby shower customs help boost the expecting mother’s health and spirits. A rational mind may scorn on many of these rituals, but research shows that rituals can add more meaning to our lives (3).
So, go ahead, rejoice in your pregnancy with your family and friends. You and your baby deserve all the celebration!
Does your culture celebrate babyshower in a unique way? Share with us in the comments section below!
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