i guess every reader is aware that Saudia has got the highest birth rate in the world. perhaps Saudis are so proud of it, being the first generator (or exporter,lol) of human babies and resources, well at least we're the first in something!
In Hijaz or the western region, receiving a new a newborn baby is something everyone may talk about especially if it's the first baby in the family. This goes back to the islamic tradition established by the Prophet Mohammed 1400 years ago. There are several rituals to perform when having a new baby, whether the first or third; animal sacrifice, shaving the baby's hair, and naming the baby of course.
The animal sacrifice varies depending on the sex of the baby. If it was a boy, then two sheep should be sacrificed. If it's a girl, then it should be only one sheep. Then a big fest should be made celebrating this big event.
Many Saudis still shave the whole baby's head in the first week or so. It was done by the Prophet so people still do it. The hair shaved should be weighed and then the equivalent cost of that weight should be given to charity. It's believed by the majority this ritual strengthens the baby's health and intelligence. I don't think my hair was shaved when I was born, no wonder I am dummy sometimes;^)
Also to give a name to the baby is rooted in Islamic traditions. The baby has a naming ceremony (unofficial); the head of the family, be it grandparent, should say Islamic Azan each ear of the baby. Then say, 'You shall be named X, following the sunna of the Prophet', given the hope the baby will be raised as Muslim, or so as i know.
i'm not aware of such things are taken seriously anymore, but i find it quite interesting! well, another thing, i cannot tolerate kids nor am i someone's baby. wonder why i still am saudi,lol
With the joys of having a new born babies,many families start to show it the minute he/she arrive.
The couples hire someone to decorate the mother`s room at the hospital with theme that matches the baby`s gender..if it`s a boy,the whole room is decorated in blue,,if it`s a girl,,yes you guessed it..it`s pink.
As a custom Arabic coffee as well as dates and choclates are served for those who come to visit the mother.
Here is a picture of what was served at my newly born nephew.
Our religion also requires us to slaughter 2 sheeps/goats in the baby`s honor and to feast on it by inviting friends and relatives in a ceremony called (Sabi`e) or (Rahmani).
If the baby is a girl then it`s only 1 sheep/goat in her honor....not beacuse she`s less important,but to tell you the truth,girls cost a lot more when they grow up ;-)
Here is a picture of a decorated door in a hosptial,the baby is a boy as you can tell.
The baby gets his (Sabi`e)Done in after a week from his birth date,some couples like to delay it until the mother catches her breath ;-)
it`s like a shower party only done after birth.friends and relatives are invited,some like to combine 2 celebrations together,where also kids of the family are invited,then it`s called (Rahmani)by the Jiddawi accent.
The baby wears his best clothes(there are even some special custom wear for this occation)...candles are lit and handed to other kids to sing in joy around the new born..candies and gifts are handed to the children.
most songs involve prayers for the new born baby wishing him a good health and good future.
Then everybody feasts on meat and rice,yet some families like to add more of the international cuisine too.
The Rahmani song goes like"Ya rab ya Rahmani,barik lana fil ghlami"
Oh Lord,oh merciful one,bless our new born baby".