One topic that I return to often, both in this blog and in conversations with friends and family, is the topic of rituals. I have contemplated the umbilical cord ceremonies, the 100 day birthdays, and other ways that different cultures mark and celebrate the growth of children. Today I attended my first Upsheren ceremony, and I must confess that even though I am Jewish I had never heard of such a thing before we received the invitation. Just to write this entry, I had to look it up on www.askmoses.com!
The Upsheren ceremony, celebrated on a child's third birthday, commemorates his or her first haircut. Apparently the tradition is rooted in agrarian times, when people learned to never pick the fruit from a tree for the first three years. One of the prominent metaphors of Judaism is the tree of life. The rationale, then, was that you should not cut your baby's hair for three years either. Apparently the Hindus have a similar ritual called mundan. In the Upsheren, you can actually participate in the clipping process. I declined, thinking it was traumatic enough already.
I know that my mother saved a lock from each of our first haircuts and taped it into the pages of our baby books. Did or will any of your family milestones revolve around hair?