Introduction to Light
By tradition, Lumbrassi children are born in almost complete darkness, with the first sources of light they see being their parents’ glowblooms. To give birth to a child in full light is considered potentially harmful to the infant’s health, and some Lumbrassi additionally believe that it dooms the child’s fate as well. This tradition is so pervasive among both Ponterri and Wistanni that virtually all Lumbrassi celebrate their Lighting Day instead of their birthday.
When an expecting Lumbrassa goes into labor, she is swiftly ushered to a pre-appointed location (traditionally a special room, but can be a section of the lower decks of a ship—common for Wistanni) where all lights are doused and specially-made thick curtains are then erected. At this point, only the attending midwife and/or doctor is permitted past the curtains with the mother to assist in the delivery of the child. Once the child is born, the first light source it is supposed to see is its mother’s glowblooms—its own blooms have not yet taken root. To aid in this, the mother commonly caresses her baby’s cheeks with her own. Shortly after birth, the child’s father is permitted past the curtain, becoming the child’s second source of light. Further sources of light are gradually added, one per day, over the next several days. This traditionally starts with a special candle given as a gift to the child. This process typically takes about five days but can take as long as a week, depending on the light level of the layer the child is born on to give the mother and the newborn sufficient time to re-adjust to bright light. But once the transition is complete, the child has been introduced to light, and a celebration is then held in the mother and child’s honor.