The different taboos for baby’s first haircut

After going through modernisation and enlightenment, people are yet to let go of superstitious beliefs in society. Apparently, everyone believes in at least one absurd superstition. This can be as a result of our culture or the environment you were brought up in. 

Are you superstitious? If yes, you are completely honest with your soul; if not, you should consider accepting that you are wrong. Although some of these beliefs may be completely wrong, one might wonder why society keeps on holding onto them. This brings us to the taboos attached to shaving a baby’s first hair. For some, shaving a sacred family affair and is treated with great reverence. 

Here are some of the exciting reasons for the first cut traditions in the world.

 

  • In Polynesian traditions, the first cut should be accompanied by gifts

The first hair cut is typically a kids’ party whereby all the kids are made to sit in chairs while covered in sacred quilts, also referred to as tivaevae. When the shaving process is going on, everyone present is expected to shower/ cover the kid with all sorts of gifts and money. 

 

  • The ‘good-luck’ haircut among the Chinese

The name ‘good-luck’ emanated from years back when Chinese society experienced a high mortality rate. Babies could die during or immediately after birth. To bring this bad luck to an end, the Chinese decided to use the red colours to signify good luck for all the babies. During the shaving ceremony, a lot of red-dyed foods must be prepared for all to indulge in. 

The same also happens to the babies receiving the first shave as they have to dress in a red hat after the hair-cut. However, a parent has the autonomy to choose whether the baby should get a complete shave or merely a trim. 

 

  • The Apaches in Native American Haircut Rituals

Most of the Native Americans are known for not shaving their kids’ first hair. This is because anyone who has long hair is mature. This is the reason why many tribes of the Native Americans refrain from cutting their baby’s first hair. However, it is common to see some tribes make their first shave when a close member of their family dies. 

However, we have the Apache tribe that ensures that every spring, they hold their haircutting ceremony. They believe that this cut encourages health and success in their babies. This is also signified by a small celebration whereby they all get down to celebrate the sacred moment.

 

  • The Orthodox Jewish Families

According to the Orthodox Jewish traditions, a baby should never get their first hair-cut until the day they turn three years. This ceremony is commonly known as upsherin among Jewish families. Well, should you consider such parents as a patient? Not at all!

Their 3-year patience has been deep-rooted in the traditions whereby they rely on the verse of Torah. In this verse, it depicts that every man is like a tree that cannot be harvested until they have matured for three years. 

Being rooted in religion, the upsherin ceremony is held in a temple whereby all the friends and family members are invited. The three years also mark the beginning of when a child can start receiving a formal education. As a result, the child begins by studying the Torah.

 

  • The Mongolian families

As for the Mongolian babies, they have wait for the lunar years. This means that they often get their first hair-cut between the ages of 2 and 5 years. In this ceremony, both the family members and friends can be invited. However, the outstanding bit comes in when every member present takes a turn in cutting a piece of the kid’s hair. They are also expected to give their wishes and offer them gifts as well. 

From these practices, you finally understand that most of the cultures in the world engage the first hair-cutting ceremony as sacred. Although modern parents are used to grabbing Merkur safety razors for their first kid’s shave, they have to appreciate that cultures are very different in the world. There is, therefore, a need to respect every culture by acknowledging their practices. After all, the sole purpose of every pregnancy is to bring up a healthy human being.

About Monica Costa

Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums

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