Ancient and modern
   
 
Birth customs

Birth was a major event for a family and was to be grandly celebrated. It marked the continuation of a bloodline and the thriving of a clan. It was the initiation of a person into family and society.

 

Praying for a son

Before pregnancy, a son would be prayed for with various sorts of ceremonies, most of which were on the mystic side. The parents in law, the husband and the wife had their own ways and rites to pray for a son.

 

Birth and washing

Three days after the child was born, the family would hold a washing ritual for ridding the baby of the stains from his or her previous life and wishing for peace and good luck. The ritual would be performed by an old lady. Apart from its ritualistic function, the washing served the practical purpose of sanitation and prevention of disease.

 

One-month and Hundred-day celebrations

The days on which the baby turned a month old and one hundred days old would be grandly celebrated. By that time the mother had completed her month-long confinement, and relatives and friends would be invited. The family would give banquets, distribute eggs dyed red, make offerings to their ancestors, and had their hair cut.

 

The first birthday

The first birthday was the last exciting occasion of the birth rituals. Apart from banquets, there would be a ritual at which the family would have the baby select from a number of things to test his/her talents and predict his/her future. It would also be an occasion to see how the baby had been brought up by the mother, the wet nurse and the nanny.

 

Toys

Every child loved toys and games. Playing toys not only exercised their intelligence, but also taught them how to get along with their friends, preparing them for social life.