Oct 12, 2016 |
Afartan Bax – After the forty Days, Women celebrate various traditional rituals around the globe. In Somalia, new mothers have a special day of their own. Its called ‘Afartan Bax’ loosely translated as the end of forty days. After many months of carrying a baby and giving birth, the new mother and her infant child move to her family’s (a family is considered your parents and siblings) house for forty days, there she is pampered, catered to, massaged, taught how to breast feed and hold her baby. For these forty days she is the queen mother and she is generally cared for. The new mother comes into motherhood with all the aunts, neighbors, friends and family visiting her on her forty days of rest. They come with good food and gifts. They pamper and spoil her and get her ready for motherhood. Women in the family keep her company, encourage her with fearless words and celebrate her and the baby. Special foods are prepared and even if the family is poor, they find a way to feed the new mom special nutritious, caloric rich foods such as lamb soup, camel milk and good herbs and fruits. They believe the body needs massive rest and lots and lots of nutrition to produce milk and bring the body back to normal after sharing itself with the baby.
The new mom is prohibited from doing any house chores or even dealing with her baby alone. She is encouraged to sleep many hours to bring the body to a resting state so she can resume being a new mom and wife.She works on a schedule only when the baby needs feeding, beyond that she enjoys her time off.
It’s a special time for new mothers,especially young mothers who may have difficulty maneuvering through motherhood. After the forty days, the new mom and her family throw a send away party where mother and child wear new cloths and the guest are fed delicious cakes, candy and pastries. Women poetess and dancers come with their traditional gear and they fill everyone with dances and songs and praise worthy poetry. Everyone celebrates and dances with the new mother, kids feast on candy and balloons and happy little things. The celebration continues to the streets where everyone joins the festivities for a good send off when the mother and baby are delivered to the father in their new home.