Parents all over the globe regardless of country or culture celebrate the arrival of their little one. Of course, Japan has its unique traditions and colorful history that welcomes the birth of new life. Here are some of the traditional practices:
On the first “dog day” of the fifth month of pregnancy parents partake in the ritual of Obiiwai. The ceremony involves tying a cotton belt around the expectant mother’s stomach; this is to protect the baby. This is usually done at a shrine where the parents pray for the baby’s healthy arrival. The “dog day” is decided using the original Japanese calendar. Dogs are the chosen animal as they are known for easier births. For hundreds of years, Japanese people prayed on this day. This event can be seen as the first gift a mother gives her child.
On the seventh night after the baby is born, it is time to share the baby’s name with the family. The father will draw the name and date on a white piece of paper. This is then hung on a wall. After this, the family eats dinner to celebrate.
1 month after the baby is born, the parents take the child to a local shrine to show the gods. Celebratory garments are worn by the baby and these are gifted by the mother’s family. The grandmother will hold the baby on the way to the shrine. Prayers for good health and happiness are sent for the baby.
Approximately 100 days after the arrival of the baby another ceremony, parents take part in Okuizome. A traditional Japanese banquet is served with nutritious food for the baby. Parents will buy red or black dishes depending on the gender of their little one: red for boys, black for girls. The parent will feed the baby taking turns as they wish for a life full of food.