Tuesday, May 22, 2012

【Japanese Customs】2.The Dog Day For Pregnant Women

We have so called "Dog day". It is from "Eto", the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac, which allots 12 kinds animals(signs) like the tiger and the mouse etc. to each year and each day. For example, this year 2012 is the year of the dragon and it comes around every 12 years, and today May 23rd is the day of the monkey and it rolls around every 12 days. Generally we aren't attentive to signs allotted to days.

However, the day of the dog has great meaning to pregnant women. It is a kind of ritual that pregnant women who just have reached their 5 months bind obstetrical binders around their belly, go to shrines that are especially famous for its effect on easy childbirth, and let the Shinto priests pray for that on this day. I believe most Japanese women tend to follow this ritual.

However, I didn't do this, because it costs a lot. Normally, obstetrical binders cost around 3,000 yen, and the fee for praying is more than 5,000 yen. What's more, it is said that this ritual is conducted only in Japan and no one is sure whether it is effective or not. Actually, my sister experienced very difficult delivery even though she had followed this. Hence, though my mother and my husband tried to force me to do this, because it was a traditional custom, I assertively refused by saying  why I should pay such amount of money for an uncertain ritual.  

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