Twenty-first day after birth(三七日)

Twenty-first day after birth

Headword

삼칠일 ( 三七日 )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Rites of Passage > Korean Rites of Passage > Chulsaenguirye

Writer HanYangmyung(韓陽明)

Period of three weeks after birth or the twenty- first day after birth.

On the third day after birth, the mother and the baby usually take their first bath, which means purification of their unpure bodies. From this day the mother begins to eat various kinds of foods, according to her means, to help with breast feeding. After the third day, taboos and rites with practical or shamanistic implications are observed every seventh day.

On the first seventh day, the baby is dressed in a new top and encouraged to move one hand freely. The baby blanket is sometimes replaced with a new one. At dawn on this day, a ritual table is prepared for Samsin (Goddess of Childbearing), with seaweed soup, steamed rice, and water, to pray for the baby’s health and longevity, the mother’s quick recovery, and easy breast-feeding. The mother then eats the soup and rice that were offered to Samsin.

On the second seventh day, the baby is dressed in new clothes and is encouraged to move both hands freely. As on the first seventh day, at dawn a ritual table is prepared with sea mustard soup, steamed rice, and water offered to Samsin, and the mother eats the food prepared.

On the third seventh day (samchiril), a ritual table with foods is once again offered to Samsin, and this time too the mother eats the food. The taboo rope that was hung up at the front gate right after childbirth is taken down, and the relatives and neighbors are invited inside the home to be treated with food and drink.

The practice of samchiril varies depending on region and family, and is greatly influenced by family circumstances. Well-to-do families offer the ritual table to Samsin every seventh day, while other families offer the ritual table only on the first week or sometimes even skip this custom altogether.

Thus, samchiril is a process in which the mother and the family, who have been separated from everyday life, rejoin daily life again and the baby is introduced to the family, relatives, and community members. The baby, once a fetus in the mother’s womb, becomes a newborn infant through childbirth. After the birth, over the first twenty one days, the baby gradually meets the family, relatives and the neighbors, and is recognized as a new member of the community.

The community, to which the family with the newborn baby belongs, goes through the same process. For the family with the newborn baby, the taboo rope symbolizes separation from impurities outside to protect the mother and the baby. Likewise, for the community it symbolizes separation from the impurities of the family with the newborn baby. Such separation ends after samchiril and the taboo rope is taken down. As the impurities of the family with the childbirth are cleaned, the family becomes part of the community again and the community regains the order of everyday life.

Twenty-first day after birth

Twenty-first day after birth
Headword

삼칠일 ( 三七日 )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Rites of Passage > Korean Rites of Passage > Chulsaenguirye

Writer HanYangmyung(韓陽明)

Period of three weeks after birth or the twenty- first day after birth.

On the third day after birth, the mother and the baby usually take their first bath, which means purification of their unpure bodies. From this day the mother begins to eat various kinds of foods, according to her means, to help with breast feeding. After the third day, taboos and rites with practical or shamanistic implications are observed every seventh day.

On the first seventh day, the baby is dressed in a new top and encouraged to move one hand freely. The baby blanket is sometimes replaced with a new one. At dawn on this day, a ritual table is prepared for Samsin (Goddess of Childbearing), with seaweed soup, steamed rice, and water, to pray for the baby’s health and longevity, the mother’s quick recovery, and easy breast-feeding. The mother then eats the soup and rice that were offered to Samsin.

On the second seventh day, the baby is dressed in new clothes and is encouraged to move both hands freely. As on the first seventh day, at dawn a ritual table is prepared with sea mustard soup, steamed rice, and water offered to Samsin, and the mother eats the food prepared.

On the third seventh day (samchiril), a ritual table with foods is once again offered to Samsin, and this time too the mother eats the food. The taboo rope that was hung up at the front gate right after childbirth is taken down, and the relatives and neighbors are invited inside the home to be treated with food and drink.

The practice of samchiril varies depending on region and family, and is greatly influenced by family circumstances. Well-to-do families offer the ritual table to Samsin every seventh day, while other families offer the ritual table only on the first week or sometimes even skip this custom altogether.

Thus, samchiril is a process in which the mother and the family, who have been separated from everyday life, rejoin daily life again and the baby is introduced to the family, relatives, and community members. The baby, once a fetus in the mother’s womb, becomes a newborn infant through childbirth. After the birth, over the first twenty one days, the baby gradually meets the family, relatives and the neighbors, and is recognized as a new member of the community.

The community, to which the family with the newborn baby belongs, goes through the same process. For the family with the newborn baby, the taboo rope symbolizes separation from impurities outside to protect the mother and the baby. Likewise, for the community it symbolizes separation from the impurities of the family with the newborn baby. Such separation ends after samchiril and the taboo rope is taken down. As the impurities of the family with the childbirth are cleaned, the family becomes part of the community again and the community regains the order of everyday life.