So in essence, naming ceremony ideas are tailored according to the parents' religion. If the parents are not deeply religious or culturally inclined, it is not strange to see some parents name their baby at the point of his birth.
There's no point pretending they didn't know the names of choice before the baby was born, considering they had nine months ar least to prepare. We will outline the Muslim, Christian and traditional naming ceremony ideas below. Feel free to borrow a leaf from the one that best resonates with you.
Check Out These Naming Ceremony Ideas
- The Islamic Naming Ceremony (Aqeeqah)
Many cultures in Africa believe that a name determines the destiny of the bearer. Remember President Goodluck Jonathan? Africans generally believe a person will only go as far as his name will take him. So people celebrate cultural naming ceremonies elaborately, especially the announcement of the baby's names.
In Islam, the family organizes the Aqeeqah on the 7th day after a child is born( 0r 14th or 21st day if the 7th day isn't convenient due to one reason or the other). 3 important things happen during this event. They are:
- Clerics shave your baby's hair and the cash equivalent of its weight is given to the poor.
- You slaughter a goat or sheep or two, and the meat is used to celebrate.
- You announce your baby's name or names to the public.
The Cultural/Traditional Naming Ceremony (Yoruba)
Yorubas take naming ceremonies pretty seriously. A lot of thought, research, family tradition, and history goes into picking a name in Yoruba culture.
The Ceremony begins with a small prayer and the introduction of the baby. Then. prayers and songs of praise welcome the new addition to the family. The presiding elder will then officiate the event with 7 symbolic items that are traditionally used to express the hope or path of a successful life. Traditionally, the elder rubs the items on the child's lips. But the modern approach to this practice involves the mother tasting the items on behalf of the child. The items are:
- honey and /or sugar
- palm oil
- kola nut
- bitter kola
- dried fish
Thereafter, he announces the baby's names. And then the event morphs into yet another owambe with jollof rice to boot!
In Igbo land, the family announces the new birth by rubbing powder on their necks. However, there's no official naming ceremony. Instead, there's a child dedication ceremony three months after the baby is born.
The Christian/English Way
This also begins with the family offering praises and prayers for the blessing of a newborn. The presiding pastor will then announce your baby's names, and wrap up the usually short ceremony. And then you can party with your family and friends to your heart's content.
Now that you have an idea of how naming ceremonies are done in these parts, use this list of tips to plan your baby's naming ceremony.
How To Throw A Brilliant One
- Put together a great invite list, whether it's just family or just friends or both
- Personalize your baby's naming ceremony
- It is an event and it must have a theme. Feel free to choose a befitting theme
- Dress up your baby in something nice
- Create a delicious menu
- Get your souvenirs ready
Also read: Made-In-Nigeria Baby Food Brands
This article was first published on AfricaParent.com