El Soboo' in the time of the Ancient Egyptians
Fri, Oct. 6, 2017
CAIRO – 6 October 2017: El Soboo' or The First Week celebration of the child's birth is a common tradition in Egyptian Society.
The tradition was inherited from Ancient Egyptians, as celebrating new-borns first originated in their society. The reason behind choosing the seventh day has to do with their beliefs that the child begins to cultivate the sense of hearing on the seventh day after his/her birth.
They thought that the child starts recognizing the sounds and voices around him/her on the seventh day after birth, so they created noise through beating on pots and singing loudly to strengthen the child's sense of hearing.
The celebration begins with the child’s mother and her friends taking seven pots from which she had eaten from in the previous week, to the Nile. The pots would be washed in the Nile then filled with water. Seven drops of thick black, eyeliner (Kohl), and seven drops of henna would be added to them.
Mother and child [Pinterest]
The mother would then sprinkle the water in the pots around the corners of the house to eject any evil souls. After that, the mother would carry the child to the Nile and its grandmother would wet his/her head. The grandmother would also throw the rest of the umbilical cord in the Nile.
The child would then have a gold ring pierced into his/her ear; the ring was scared and was called the Isis ring.
Following, the Ancient Egyptians would pray to the Gods to protect and praise the child. The first order directed to the child during the celebration is to obey the Gods.
The grandmother would have soaked seven grains of beans or wheat, or cord in a pot of water next to a jug or flask of water.
Mother and Child [Pinterest]
The additions that are added to the Soboo' in modern times are white candles and Akeka, which hails from an Islamic tradition. “Akeka” means inviting the relatives of the child's family to food; in addition to donating food to the poor and needy.
Basmalah was also another Islamic tradition added to El Soboo' rituals.
Nowadays in Egypt, people celebrate loudly by singing "Halaatak Bergalatak" in El Soboo'. It is said that “Halaatak Bergalatak” are Ancient Egyptian words referring to Isis’s scared rings, since “Halaatak” translates from Arabic to “Your rings.”