Saturday, May 2, 2009

40 Day Party

Lucy is 40 days old today! If she had been born on her due date, her 40 day birthday would have been our wedding anniversary. It ended up being on May Day though, which is almost as good.

It's a Kazakh tradition to have a special party for the baby when she turns 40 days old. Traditionally, the baby and mother would have stayed in the house for the first 39 days after birth, so this is the welcome to the world party where everyone else gets to meet the baby.

I think this is another lovely Kazakh tradition. (That's one of the aspects I love of marrying into Kazakh/Russian culture--new traditions!) The family elder spoons 40 spoon-fulls of salt water over the baby while each member of the family gives her a blessing. Lucy received wonderful blessings: to be healthy, wise, cheerful, lucky, smart, fabulously rich, and surrounded by love.

Lucy was as happy as a mermaid in her new baby tub. She smiled and watched us intently the whole time she was being blessed.

Lucy and Apashka are such a pair, aren't they? It tickled my heart to watch the two of them smile back and forth at each other. (And can you believe Apaskha is our family elder? I think she looks way too young!)

After the blessing bath, someone cuts a lock of the baby's hair to save forever. Karima was a very brave and careful hair cutter! I'm going to put the tiny envelope of Lucy's hair in her baby book. Then the baby is rubbed with sheep fat, or in our case, fancy Swiss baby lotion.

Grammi and Great GranE were able to watch the ceremony from St. Louis over Skype. This was the first time Great GranE got to see Lucy on video chat. I loved being able to show my daughter to my family's matriarch!

Lucy sure is sleeping well after all those blessings and a relaxing evening in her luxurious bath.


  1. that's fantastic! we do something similar in pakistani/islamic culture but we just threw a party since the traditional thing is to SHAVE THE BABY'S HEAD at 40 days and i wasn't having that. :P i'm a bad pakistani, haha.

  2. Yeah, my husband secretly wants to shave our baby's head too! He thinks it will help the pitifully thin hair she inherited from me. It's funny to me that he thinks her hair needs help--I didn't have as much hair as she does until I was two years old!

  3. yeah! my family thinks the same thing. wren has a lot of hair though. of me and my three sisters, 2 had their head shaved as babies. of those two, one has thick hair and one doesn't. and me, the one who didn't have her head shaved, has in-between hair. so i don't know if there's any truth to that rumour! ;)