Naming ceremony in Edo

 

Items for the ceremony

 

 

  • Kola-nuts - Used to welcome the child prayerfully
  • Palm wine - For prayers (libation)
  • Gin - For prayers so that the child is free from drunkards and will not be a drunkard himself
  • Honey/Sugar - For prayers that the child have a good life of sweetness
  • Bitter kola nuts - Life is also bitter sometimes. This is therefore used to prevent bitterness in life and in fact, used to defeat it totally.
  • Coconuts - Broken during the ceremony to show that there are many things in life unknown to man. Breaking it gives you an insight to them and how to tackle them.
  • Palm oil - The oil to make life easy by lubricating difficult situations thereby, making them easy to unravel or overcome.
  • Yam - The main food of the Edo people, to be shared to all present for a hunger free life.
  • Water - No now can live without water. If you use water, you cannot harm the child

 

The ceremony

 

The ceremony is held on the seventh day after birth. The time the ceremony should start would either be at 7am or 7pm. Elders, family members and well wishers are present. The eldest male represents the head of the family. He says the prayers. The mother of the child must be beautifully dressed and she carries the child. Kola-nuts are broken and shared. Gin is also served. All these are done with prayers said for the child. The eldest female asks the mother of the child what name the child is to be called. This repeats seven times. In all six times, the names given by the mother is wrong and not accepted as it is not what the father want to name the child. At the seventh attempt, the father whispers the name to the mother who announces it when asked the seventh time. There is applause . Prayers follow, all for the child. Music may follow the occasion to make it grandeur.  

 

 

Additional Names

 

All those present are encouraged to give the child their own names too. As they give a name for the child, so must a gift/money be put down. With every new name given, the response is "May he/she live long". Amen(All respond).   Merriment concludes the ceremony. Food and soft drinks are served.    

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