Baby showers have long been celebrated in this country. In the United States, a
baby shower is a way to celebrate the pending or recent birth of a child. It allows
friends and family to shower the mother-to-be and baby with love and gifts.
Showers can be simple and intimate, or large and elaborate. Celebrations in
other parts of the globe can vary greatly.
In India showers are "women-only" events held when the woman is in her 5th,
7th or 9th month of pregnancy, depending on the region. Music is played, and
the mother-to-be is dressed in traditional attire with lots of flowers and garlands
made of jasmine. A swing is decorated with flowers she has chosen, which she
uses to sit and swing. Symbolic cutouts of Moons and Stars are put up and
elderly ladies of the household and community shower the mother-to-be with
blessings. Special gifts are given to the expectant mother. On an auspicious day,
after being massaged with homemade ayurvedic oil, the woman has a customary
bath with the help of the elderly women in the family. After this, the family deity is
worshipped and a concoction of herbal medicines prepared in the traditional way,
is given to the woman. The mother-to-be is dressed in new clothes and jewelry
used for such occasions.
In Chinese tradition, it is considered unlucky to throw a baby shower for an
unborn child. Instead, baby showers are held one month after the baby is born. In
ancient times lack of medical care resulted in high infant mortality rates, which
prompted family and friends to celebrate once the baby had survived one month
of life. Traditionally, the expectant mother's own mother purchases the baby's
layette. A month before the baby is due, the maternal grandmother sends a
package of clothing for her expectant daughter called tsue shen, or hastening the
delivery. A white cloth is included in the package to wrap the newborn. The
maternal grandmother waits three days after the baby is born before she visits
with the baby's gifts.
Inspired by Navajo tradition, a Blessing Way is a ritual that celebrates the
mother-to-be and to prevent complications of pregnancy. Ceremonies may
include chants, special poems or readings and gifts for the mother. Today, there
are many variations. In some celebrations expectant mothers are presented with
birthing beads. Each participant brings a bead along with a written special poem,
blessing or chant. The beads are then passed around a circle and the written
gifts or blessings are read aloud. Participants may describe the bead they are
gifting and why that particular bead was selected.
Certainly there are many ways of honoring an expectant mother. Whatever
traditions you may choose, family and friends will be thrilled to welcome the
precious little one into the world! Be sure to invite them to the celebration with one of Invitations4Less.com's cute and colorfulBaby Shower Invitations.
Natasha has been with Invitations4Less.com assisting stationery consumers with finding the invitation or announcement of their dreams since 2003.
When not working with our customers, Natasha enjoys traveling all the corners of the globe and moonlighting as an event planner with her friend and colleague.