Baby Showers Around The World



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Category: Featured

The imminent birth of a child is a happy event that is worth celebrating. Many cultures around the world mark the occasion with a unique ritual that brings family and friends together to ‘shower’ the mum-to-be with gifts.

Not all cultures celebrate a baby shower in quiet the same way. In some countries, like the UK, that have recently adopted the mother and baby honouring custom, it’s acceptable to incorporate different aspects of traditions from around the world.

If you’d like to organise a baby shower for a close friend or relative, you can take inspiration from the rules and etiquette of international baby shower rituals and create your own unique experience for mum-to-be. You’ll need to plan a baby shower party – that features refreshments and entertainment – and to send out invitations. Don’t forget that it’s good manners to send baby thank you cards to every guest after the party, to show gratitude for their company and gifts.

To inspire you further, read on to discover how the baby shower tradition is celebrated around the globe…

Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, the birth of a baby isn’t officially celebrated with a baby shower until the 6th night after the infant is born. Family and friends come together to celebrate the event over the sharing of a feast. As the guests already know the gender of the newborn, they traditionally bring gifts of items that the baby needs, like clothing, baby supplies and toys.

China

Families in China plan and organise a formal baby shower that is hosted after the birth of the baby. It’s considered unlucky to celebrate before the mother gives birth. Guests are invited to a large banquet dinner, and traditionally bring gifts of money, for the baby and parents, in ‘lucky’ red envelopes.

Dominican Republic

Parents in the Dominican Republic like to throw a surprise baby shower party for the expectant parents. Both women and men are invited to attend the lavish occasion. Before gifts are presented to the mum-to-be, it’s customary to play a variety of fun party games.

France

The baby shower tradition isn’t formally celebrated in France until the infant’s first birthday, when family and friends get together to make a great deal of fuss. Baby’s 1st birthday is a lavish affair with women and men in attendance, and gifts galore for the birthday boy or girl and the child’s mother.

India

In India, it’s a traditional Hindu custom to celebrate the imminent birth of a child during the 7th month of pregnancy. The celebration is known as Godh Bharai, which translates as ‘fill the lap’, and involves showering mum-to-be with blessings of abundance, support and gifts. The expectant mother is dressed up in a beautiful flower covered saree, and is anointed with special oils. During the women-only event, family members and friends gather together to dance and sing, and to play games. A lot of attention is bestowed on the mum-to-be, and she is adorned with colourful jewellery as her lap is filled up with fruits, sweets and other gifts.

Latin America

In Latin America, a baby shower is an occasion that brings the entire family together, including men and children. There’s music, dancing and entertainment, party games that go on for hours, a feast of delicious treats, and plenty of affectionate hugging. The kissing and touching of the expectant mum’s belly is also a common custom.

South Africa

South Africans enjoy celebrating the imminent arrival of a new baby with a ‘stork party’. The event is often arranged as a surprise for the expectant mum, and includes party games, food and drink and the giving of gifts to the baby and mum.

Tibet

In Tibet, it’s traditional to honour the birth of a child with a celebration that is known as pang-sai, which translates as ‘the cleansing of the baby’. The event is held during the first week after the birth of the newborn and lasts for the entire week. Family and friends bring gifts of clothes for the infant, and food that represents wishes for an abundant life. Some guests give the gift of brightly coloured scarves that symbolise good wishes for the parents. It’s also common for the parents to receive a visit from a monk from the local monastery, as this is associated with the gift of wisdom for the child. On the final day of pang-sai, the most respected person in attendance is given the honour of naming the child during a special naming ceremony.

The United States

Many people consider a baby shower to be a custom that originated in the USA. Although the country can’t officially claim the baby honouring practice as its creation, some cultures around the world have accepted many of the elements that make up an American-style baby shower as their own. Once a women-only afternoon event, the baby shower has evolved over the years in the United States and now welcomes women and men at the party that is held in the morning, afternoon or evening. The baby shower is traditionally planned and hosted by a family member or close friend and arranged in honour of the mum-to-be. Invitations are sent out to guests, along with baby thank you cards after the event. The celebration includes party games, refreshments and the showering of gifts for mother and baby. Many expectant mums choose to reveal the gender of their unborn baby to everyone, during the baby shower party.