Life Events and Rites of Passage: Over 100 Entries on the Customs and Symbols of Major Life-Cycle Milestones

Overview

The time of transition from one life stage to another-from childhood to young adulthood, for example-is often a time of special meaning, marked with celebrations and traditions. This book presents an introduction to the history, symbols, customs, and traditions of important secular and religious life-cycle events observed in the United States. Over 100 entries cover important events from the nation's major ethnic and religious groups, as well as other distinctive groups.

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Overview

The time of transition from one life stage to another-from childhood to young adulthood, for example-is often a time of special meaning, marked with celebrations and traditions. This book presents an introduction to the history, symbols, customs, and traditions of important secular and religious life-cycle events observed in the United States. Over 100 entries cover important events from the nation's major ethnic and religious groups, as well as other distinctive groups.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Hill, the author of several other reference volumes for Omnigraphics, teams up with Daniels, who has written reference works for Greenhaven Press, in this informative and concise work on the many traditions of people living in the United States. The book is organized chronologically into four parts: "Birth and Childhood," "Coming of Age," "Adulthood," and "Death and Mourning." Within each part is an introduction that serves as an overview of the topic, which is followed by four to eight chapters about various life events. Examples of chapter titles include "Commemorating Birth," "Religious Milestones," "Courtship," and "Burials." Each chapter also has its own introduction, and then it covers chronologically two to nine specific customs and traditions as separate entries. Over 100 specific customs and traditions are described. The entries offer alternate names for the tradition; explain its history and significance, observance procedures, and the customs and symbols involved; and point to further reading. Cross-references to similar entries are made in bold type, a feature that allows for easy cross-cultural comparison. The book also contains a comprehensive bibliography and an index.
—Samantha Schmehl Hines

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780780807358
  • Publisher: Omnigraphics, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/2008
  • Pages: 498
  • Product dimensions: 7.55 (w) x 9.23 (h) x 1.33 (d)

Table of Contents


Foreword   Clifton D. Bryant     xi
Preface     xiii
Birth and Childhood     1
Introduction     3
Conception and Pregnancy     5
Introduction     5
Baby Shower     7
Birth Rituals for Fathers     11
Protection Lore     17
Guessing Gender     23
Greeting the Baby     27
Introduction     27
Jatakarma     29
Reciting the Mool Mantra     33
Whispering the Shahada and Tahnik     35
Naming the Baby     39
Introduction     39
Namakarna     41
Red Egg and Ginger Party     44
Deceptive Naming     49
Nam Karan     52
Entering the Faith     55
Introduction     55
Baptism     56
Bris Milah     64
Pidyon Ha-Ben     71
Firsts     75
Introduction     75
Aqiqah     77
Pueblo Presentation Ceremonies     82
Annaprasana     87
Upsherin     89
Chudakarma     94
First Day of School     97
First Lost Tooth     99
First Communion and Reconciliation     102
Commemorating Birth     107
Introduction     107
Birthdays     109
Saint's Days     115
Coming of Age     119
Introduction     121
Religious Milestones     123
Introduction     123
Upanayana     125
Hopi Initiation Ceremonies     129
Bar and Bat Mitzvah     133
Confirmation     140
Quinceanera     145
White Mountain Apache Sunrise Ceremony     151
Lakota Awicalowanpi Ceremony     156
Vision Quest     159
Theravadin Buddhist Novice Monkhood     164
New Privileges and Responsibilities     169
Introduction     169
Driving     171
First Dates     175
Debutante Balls     178
School Events     183
Introduction     183
Senior Prom     184
High School Graduation     189
Revived and Reinvented Initiation Rites     195
Introduction     195
African-American Rites of Passage Programs      197
Unitarian Universalist Coming-of-Age Programs     202
Adulthood     207
Introduction     209
Courtship     213
Introduction     213
Dating     215
Matchmaking     218
Getting Engaged     221
Introduction     221
Proposal     223
Engagement Party     228
Wedding Preparations     231
Introduction     231
Setting the Date     232
Fasting and Ritual Bath     235
Wedding Showers     237
Wedding Attire     241
Henna Body Painting     246
Wedding Party     249
Rehearsal Dinners and Other Pre-Wedding Gatherings     253
Loading the Bride     256
Wedding Ceremonies     259
Introduction     259
Religious Wedding Ceremonies     262
Civil Wedding Ceremonies     270
Betrothal Ritual     274
Wedding Receptions     279
Introduction     279
Walimah     281
Wedding Dance     284
Wedding Receptions     288
Post-Wedding Events      293
Introduction     293
Charivari     295
Honeymoon     297
Anniversary Customs     300
Recommitment Ceremonies     305
Divorce     307
Adult Milestones     313
Introduction     313
Purchasing a House     315
Family Reunions     319
Military Reunions     323
Class Reunions     326
Performing the Hajj     329
Later Adulthood     337
Introduction     337
Asian-American 6340th Birthday     340
Retirement     343
New Living Arrangements     347
Death and Mourning     351
Introduction     353
Preparing the Body     357
Introduction     357
Last Rites     359
Dressing the Body     362
Funerals and Other Immediate Mourning Rituals     365
Introduction     365
Aninut     367
Iroquois Family Condolence Rite     371
Salat al-Janaza     374
New Orleans Jazz Funeral     377
Wakes     381
Repasts      384
Shawnee Death Feast     387
Sidewalk and Other Public Shrines     389
Burials     393
Introduction     393
Burial Practices     396
Cremation Rituals     400
Memorials and Later Commemorations     403
Introduction     403
All Souls Day     406
Ching Ming     409
Dia de los Muertos     412
Forty-Ninth Day Memorial     418
Obon Festival     420
One-Year Memorials     422
Orthodox Christian Memorials     425
Bibliography     429
Photo and Illustration Credits     465
Index     469
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