Coming of age: First tooth Tradition / Ritual in Kaestra | World Anvil
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Coming of age: First tooth


Being a child before modern medicine has always been a perilous task, and with child mortality being so high in their first few years, many parents choose not to name their child before they have reached a certain age. It could vary, from a few months to a couple of years. A baby would instead have a nickname, like "our smallest one" or "blondie".   When a baby gets their first tooth, it is a cause for celebration in the household as this is a hopeful sign for the future!   For any family who has means to do so, a child will be properly celebrated with a feast with their closest relatives and family friends. In a few places like Ukan, in conjunction with this ceremony, it is most common to also hold a small intimate naming ceremony for their baby. Many Ukans likes to pass names down the generations, so a baby would have the same name as for example an ancestor or an uncle or aunt.


As the guests have settled in and received their food and drinks, the parents would gather at the heart of the house, often the hearth. There, the father would give a short speech for that ends in them announcing the name in full. The guests will then raise their cups and yell the babys name, son of so-and-so! Then the godparents will stand up as they are pointed to, and one by one swear oaths to protect the child and care for it should the parents die in unforseen circumstances.   As the ceremony is finished, the youngest guests and participants will be swept away by maids or older siblings to be kept away from the rowdy party and drinking that will occupy the rest of the night.


The father will hold the baby during the ceremonys key event, the naming of the child. The godparents are consulted beforehand if they wish to take on the responsibility, and their attendance is very important. Often extra women and children are hired to help prepare the feast, or if it's a smaller and less rich family, their neighbours and relatives may agree to help.
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