birth of a child is a very happy day for the parents
particularly if it is their first child. On the same day that
the child is born the father will send a girl from the
household to invite both his and the motherís family to
welcome the new child and celebrate the birth.
It is traditional that the family will bring
gifts to the mother and the new child; money is hidden inside
the childís clothing and clothes for the baby are given to
The women of the household will prepare the
first meal. Traditionally this would be fish stew but now it
is more common to cook macaroni and meat. At sunset the girls
join in song in celebration of the birth.
The mother rests in bed for one week. She is
cared for by the other women. Special food is prepared for
her. Her mother will take care of the new child.
All the relatives are invited to attend the
house of the mother and father of the child on the seventh day
after its birth. In preparation for this event, the women
gather on the third day in order to bake bread and ensure that
everything will be in order. It is traditional that they eat
beans and rice at this gathering.
On the seventh day there is a naming ceremony
for the child. Early in the morning the men will slaughter a
sheep. This will be eaten with rice or macaroni.
At this celebration, according to Islam a
childsí hair must be shaved and its weight in gold measured.
This weight in sweets would then be given to all the children
present. This rule is observed in present day by shaving the
childís hair and giving gifts of sweets to the
The name of the child will be announced to the
guests by the mother and father.
When the child is one month old it makes its
first visit to the mosque. Girls from the area will take the
child. There is an old, less common, practice that the child
will be taken to be blessed by an old woman on the way to the
mosque. At the mosque the child will be blessed by a holy man.
The children will then form a circle and eat.