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How to "cut the tongue", what is the secret of "grandma's porridge" and other Russian rituals associated with children
How to "cut the tongue", what is the secret of "grandma's porridge" and other Russian rituals associated with children

In Russia, there were many rituals and traditions associated with adult life: wedding, building a house, burial, and so on. But there were also a large number of ceremonies related to children, their birth, as well as upbringing. By the way, some of the traditions and fixed expressions have survived to this day, albeit in a modified form.

Where did the expression "bring in the hem" come from?

Currently, this expression means that the woman gave birth to a child out of wedlock. And hundreds of years ago, this meant that a woman actually brought a newborn in a hem. All this was due to the fact that women worked right up to the very birth. For example, there were frequent cases when a woman gave birth right in the field.

Previously, women worked right up to the very birth, so they often gave birth in the field and "brought children in the hem"

The childbirth itself was not treated as scrupulously as it is now, so they did not carry things for newborn children with them. And, if the moment of childbirth found a woman at work, then she simply wrapped the baby in a scarf, an apron, or carried it home in the hem of her dress. By the way, this expression has one more meaning. In some proverbs of the Russian people, under the phrase "wear in the hem" means to pamper, to love the child.

The main rites at baptism

The sacrament of baptism in Russia was filled with various ceremonies and rituals, which are aimed at protecting the baby from evil forces, as well as attracting happiness, health, and wealth into his life. The most interesting of them are “babkina's porridge” and “hoof washing”. The baptism of children took place mainly on the third, eighth or fortieth day from his birth.

One of the main treats on the table on the day of christening was kutia. Now it is mainly made for Christmas and funerals, and earlier it was also prepared for christenings. Christening porridge was made from barley or wheat, adding butter, milk, honey and raisins. This kutia was called "Babkina's porridge" because it was cooked by a midwife, that is, a grandmother. This porridge was brought out at the end of the festive feast. After paying a few coins, the godparents bought the kutya.

The ceremony of redemption of "grandma's porridge" at the christening

By the way, in order for the child's father to feel all the bitterness and pain that the mother experienced during childbirth, the grandmother specially served him very peppery and salty concoctions. When she was carrying this treat to her father, she would say: "How salty it was for a mother to give you a son, this will be the same for you."

But the expression “to wash the hooves” or “to wash the legs” at christenings appeared after the old tradition of drinking moharych during the sale of a horse. At the christening, at the end of the celebration, the guests drank to the good health of the baby and gave him various gifts. By the way, sometimes children's feet were actually washed with wine. It was believed that in this way health, luck and wealth would come to the newborn. At this moment in time, this expression means to celebrate the baptism of a child and to drink to his happiness and health.

Gifts for the "by the tooth"

At first, the expression "on a tooth" meant to put a woman in childbirth on a tooth, to silver or gild, in general to give a gift to a woman in labor. So, initially in Russia, gifts were accepted by the mother, and not by the baby. But later, the interpretation of this expression changed, "by the teeth" they began to give a gift to a newborn. Wealthy families tried to donate something made of silver. This is where the expression "to silver a tooth" came from.

Nowadays, they also often give a spoon "by the tooth"

In Russia, basically, the baby was given a spoon "by the tooth". They gave it because it was a subject of personal use.As now everyone has their own toothbrush, so before they had their own personal spoon. Accordingly, the newborn will also need it soon. They tried to give a spoon when the first tooth erupted, because during this period they began to feed the baby with cereals, soups and other adult food. So the donated cutlery is very useful for the child.

Rituals associated with the baby's sleep

For a sound and healthy sleep of the child, a pebble or a small piece of aspen bark was placed in the hanging cradle. In some families, a cat was allowed to lie down in the baby's crib, before putting him to bed, because she knows a lot about a good dream, and she is the character of many lullabies.

So that the child sleeps well, before laying him down, let the cat lie there

In Russia, they believed that the Sandman helps to rock children - evening or night spirit. He was presented in the form of a small old woman with warm and gentle hands, as well as a quiet and sleepy voice.

There was also a sign that it was impossible to rock the cradle without a baby, as this could lead to insomnia in the baby, as well as to the imminent pregnancy of the mother. And the worst thing that could happen if you rocked an empty cradle was the death of a baby. By the way, to this day this sign exists in the Caucasus, in Kazakhstan and in many European countries. In our country, it is even undesirable to swing empty baby carriages.

Rocking a cradle without a baby has always been a bad omen

Why you can't cut children under one year old

In ancient times, many customs and signs were associated with cutting hair. For example, until the 1900s, there was a ceremony of cutting the braid of a young bride at a wedding. And at present, only the echoes of the tonsure of children have come down. There is a sign that before the child turns one year old, it cannot be cut, because you can "tame the mind" or "cut the tongue", that is, the development of speech and intelligence in the baby will be much slower. But after a year, you can cut your hair in peace. In the old days, in order to attract success and wealth to a child's life, they cut him every Maundy Thursday, putting him on a fur coat.

It is undesirable to cut a child up to one year old, otherwise you can "tame the mind" or "cut the tongue"

Why milk teeth were thrown at a mouse

Nowadays, they increasingly resort to the European version, where the tooth is taken by the Tooth Fairy, leaving a reward or a gift for the baby for it. This option appeared at the end of the 19th century thanks to a fairy tale written by Luis Coloma at the request of the Queen of Spain, Maria Christina of Austria, for her son.

Previously, the milk tooth was given to the mouse, but now the Tooth Fairy

But the Vikings were the first to pay attention to milk teeth, they carried a tooth with them as a kind of talisman to attract good luck and inexhaustible strength in battles. In the old days, gifts for the loss of milk teeth were not given to children, but they had a ritual that was carried out so that new teeth in a child would grow strong and healthy. To do this, the child had to stand with his back to the stove, throw the fallen milk tooth over his shoulder, saying during the throw: “Mouse, mouse! You have a bone tooth on you, but give me an iron tooth!"

The transition to adulthood

At the age of seven, the children entered a new and responsible period in their lives. This stage was the first in their entry into adulthood. Traditionally, at this age, children began to take an active part in various jobs, for example, harvesting or grazing cattle. They also started doing housework. Moreover, mothers taught girls to sew, cook, babysit younger brothers and sisters, in general, various female jobs, and fathers bailed their sons, teaching male occupations.

After seven years, children began to constantly wear clothes, like adults

In addition to various jobs, children began to learn to read and write. To add seriousness, at the age of seven, the children changed their clothes. If earlier they wore loose long shirts, dressing in ordinary clothes only for the holidays, now girls began to wear only skirts and sundresses, and boys - shirts and pants.

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