Coming Of Age

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Tol

Tol is a celebration of baby's first birthday in Korea. In the past medical care was not so developed and quite many children died of different diseases before their first birthday. People started the Tol day with a prayer. For this occasion Koreans used to pray to Sanshin (the mountain god) and Samshin (the birth goddess).
traditional Korean praying table traditional Korean praying table

The first haircut

The first haircut is quite an important thing in many world cultures and religions. It is treated as one form of rite of passage. In Mongolia children get their first haircut when they are between 2 and 6 years old. According to lunar calendar boys do it in their even year and girls in their odd year. Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish boys have their first haircut when they are 3 years old. In Yiddish this ceremony is called the "upsherenish" or "upsherin" (shear off). In Hebrew people call it "halaqah" (smoothing). The child's side locks or "payot" are traditionally left intact.

Umhlanga

The Umhlanga (Reed Dance) is a traditional dance of Swaziland. The Kingdom of Swaziland (Umbuso weSwatini) is a country with population of 1.1 million in the south of Africa. Thousands of young women from all parts of Swaziland perform the dance. The dance is organized in August when the weather is mild and the reed has reached its maturity. What is the reason for creating this event? It is believed that it encourages young women to keep their virginity until reaching maturity for marriage.

Quccija

Malta, or the Republic of Malta as it is officially known, is located in the central part of the Mediterranean Sea. Malta is actually an archipelago which includes inhabited islands of Gozo and Comino and several smaller uninhabited islands.
location of Malta location of Malta
People in Malta have rather interesting tradition celebrating child's first birthday. The tradition is called Quccija (Choosing). Local people believe that it predicts child's future.

Kinaalda

The Navajo or Diné is the largest Native American tribe (nation) in North America. According to the article published in Navajo Times on the 7th of July, 2011 there are 300,048 people who declare themselves as the Navajos. Larger Navajo communities exist in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and California.
Map of the Navajo nation Map of the Navajo nation
They organize Kinaalda. What is it? It is a four day ceremony which includes girls who reached the puberty (first menstruation).

Red egg and ginger party

When a woman finds out that she is pregnant, people in China say that she "has happiness". The first month in life of a baby is very important. Period of one month was chosen on purpose. Because of poverty in the past, infant mortality rate in China was quite high. People believed that a baby who reached one month is going to survive. On the morning of baby's 30th day, families offer sacrifices to gods. They should protect baby in his or her life.

Shichi-go-san

Shichi-go-san, meaning "7-5-3" is a traditional festival held in Japan on the 15th of November. It is organized for three and seven years old girls and five year old boys. Numbers 3, 5 and 7 were chosen because Japanese numerology finds odd numbers lucky.
Kids at the Shichi-go-san festival Kids at the Shichi-go-san festival

Coming of age ceremonies in China

Traditionally Chinese men became adults at the age of 20 during the capping ceremony. Women became adults at the age of 15 during the hairpin ceremony. Both ceremonies were traditional in Ancient China. It is believed that these ceremonies are more than 2000 years old. There are evidences that they were held in the period of Zhou Dynasty (1045 BC–256 BC).

African dolls

African dolls have two basic purposes. They are toys, but most of all charms that should ensure fertility. Mother often gives her old doll to her daughter. Dolls of the western world are popular too. They are dressed in traditional clothes of the local community.
Ghanaian women holding dolls Ghanaian women holding dolls

Seijin no Hi

“Seijin no Hi” or Coming of Age Day is a traditional Japanese holiday which is organized on the second Monday in January. In Japan the age of majority is 20.
Seijin no Hi Japanese girls celebrating Seijin no Hi