Postrizhiny among the Slavs: kinship, gifts and a feast

Among the southern Slavs, postrizhiny was an act of establishing kinship. In Serbia, the one who cut a child’s hair became his “postrizhiny father” (“шишано кумство”), in Bulgaria – the child’s brother. In Bosnia, if two families were in a quarrel, a member of the warring family was specially invited to cut the child’s hair, after which both sides would call truce. Such kinship was valued above blood or spiritual relationship.

The parents thanked the hair cutters. The Serbs gave them a shirt or weapons. Among the southern Slavs and Ukrainians, all the guests brought treats and gifts: pies, bread, salt, clothes for the child. Giving a gift to the child, to the one who cut the hair and to relatives and guests was considered mandatory. Among different Slavic nations, a “postrizhiny father” could give a child clothes and shoes, a red hat, a beehive, a sheep or other domestic animal. The child received gifts from his maternal grandfather and grandmother and from other relatives.

Postrizhiny celebration feast had different forms: from an ordinary family dinner to a rich ceremonial meal similar to a wedding, with the invitation of musicians and dances.

What other children related holidays do you know?

To be continued…
Artist: https://www.deviantart.com/mirogniewa