A New Life

Nikita ZinovievMarch 29, 2021Life and Death

All people around the world say that children are the reward of life. Ukrainians are not an exception. We all admire those little, cute, and funny creatures. When there is a newborn in a family, everybody feels happy and wants to share this pleasant feeling with their closest friends and relatives.

Most Ukrainians are Christians, so our national tradition is to baptize children when they are very young. The sooner we do it, the faster our church will take care of it. Infants are usually baptized in the first months. On the day of the baptism, godparents take the child to church, where the priest performs the Sacrament of Baptism by immersing the infant three times into the water, and then passes it on to one of the godparents: the girl to the godmother and the boy to the godfather. They accept the child in a white clean diaper, which is called a "kryzhma" in Ukrainian. We believe that a baptized child receives God's protection from all troubles and sorrows. His parents cannot be present in this ritual. The baptism of a child is a great and joyful holiday of every Ukrainian family. The godparents take the honorable responsibility for the upbringing of the godchild, coming to his/her aid in a difficult moment, and, in case of death of the parents, taking the little person into their family and caring for this special individual as their own child.

The customs of choosing godparents have some differences in diverse regions of Ukraine. In most places, it is preferable to invite relatives or neighbors. The number of pairs of godparents can differ in various areas from one pair to five pairs. Five couples are invited only by the child's wealthy parents. The invitation to baptize a baby is always honorable. It is considered a sign of great respect, so people do not refuse to be a godfather or a godmother. It seems to be a serious sin if you reject such a proposition.

On the day of the baptism, all the guests wish the newly baptized baby and his parents health, love, wisdom, and many years of blessings. During the celebration of the baptism, people like to sing ritual songs and prepare funny fables and humorous shows. If this special day is full of fun and at a generously set table, the life of the baptized child will pass in joy and prosperity.

These are the most common customs and traditions Ukrainians use to celebrate a new life. Our nation does believe that each baby in the family is the best gift from our Mighty God.

Nikita Zinoviev is ai eighth grade at the Logos School in Kiev, Ukraine. He is interested in the IT sphere and enjoys writing code on his computer. He is also interested in playing football, reading science books, playing computer games, and cooking.