The Influence Of The Moon
Category: Part V.
Source: Folklore Of The Santal Parganas
If a child is born on the day before the new moon the following
ceremony is observed. After bathing the child they place an old broom
in the mother's arms instead of the child; then the mother takes
the child and throws it out on the dung heap behind the house. The
midwife then takes an old broom and an old winnowing fan and sweeps
up a little rubbish on to the fan and takes it and throws it on the
dung hill; there she sees the child and calls out. "Here is a child
on the dung heap" then she pretends to sweep the child with the broom
into the winnowing fan and lifts it up and carries it into the house;
and asks the people of the house whether they will rear it. They ask
what wages she will give them and she promises to give them a heifer
when the child is grown up.
If this is not done the child will be unlucky when it grows up; if
it is a boy, however often he may marry, his wife will die and so,
if it is a girl, her husbands will die.
Another fact is that they always shave a child's head for the first
two times during the same moon; if it is shaved first during one moon
and then during the following moon; it will always have a headache
once a month.
Similarly when they tie the knots in a string to fix the date of a
wedding the wedding must take place in the lunar month in which the
knots are tied or else the children born of the marriage will die.
Next: Illegitimate Children
Previous: Pregnant Women