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Rite of Birth

As the beginning rite of one's life, rite of birth consists of a series of ceremonies including praying for a son, fetus protection, labor, as well as three mornings, first month, first one hundred days, and one full year of a baby’s life, all directing at praying blessing for a new born baby and driving evil spirits away from the mother.

There are usually three manners of praying for a son: firstly, praying gods to bestow a son, namely, offering sacrifice to gods in charge of childbearing such as Kwan-yin, Bixia Fairy and Flowers God; secondly, praying for a son by eating food perceived to be able to foster pregnancy such as red painted eggs, lettuce and taro; and finally, praying for a son by giving out articles such as lantern, clay doll and kylin basin, which represent omen for acquiring a son.

Fetus protection is performed in the hope of securing the safety of mother and fetus during the pregnant period. Accordingly, top priority is usually given to the diet of the pregnant woman and prenatal education. Nutritious food such as meat soup, glutinous oil rice, vegetables and fruit is preferred for pregnant woman and some others carrying unfavorable meanings such as rabbit meat, ginger and sparrow should be avoided. To obtain good effect of prenatal education, pregnant woman should deep herself in good posture and mood, and stay in peaceful and harmonious atmosphere, and avoid wedding, funeral, ground breaking and other occasions.

Rite of birth also includs "Three Mornings","Thirtieth Day","Hundredth Days" and "Grabbing Test".Rite of birth is an embodiment of people’s recognition of reproduction and their favorable expectation of life. Lots of customs involved in the rite are the embodiment of traditional Chinese culture.

China travel guide    Posted by China Culture on 09/25/2012

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