The tradition of naming children after relatives: folk superstitions and beliefs

By SSPDaily editionJan 19, 2024 21:00 PMSociety
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The tradition of naming children after relatives
The tradition of naming children after relatives. Source: www.pampers.com

Many cultures have a favorite tradition of naming children after relatives. This tradition connects generations, honoring ancestors and strengthening family ties. However, beneath this good custom lies a whole web of superstitions and beliefs, some of which warn against naming children after parents or other close relatives.

The power of names

Names are not just arbitrary labels; they carry weight, meaning, and even energy. By naming a child, we endow him or her with a unique set of qualities and a certain destiny or energy associated with that name. Naming a child in honor of a relative can convey both the name itself and the essence of the person who bore it.

Warnings against naming children after deceased relatives

In many cultures, naming a child in honor of a deceased relative is considered a sensitive matter. While it is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged to name a child after relatives who died in war, naming a child after relatives who died in less fortunate circumstances is generally discouraged.

Here are some of the beliefs associated with naming children:

1. Avoid naming your child after a deceased parent:

It is believed that naming a child after a parent who died prematurely or under unfavorable circumstances can be a heavy burden on the child, which can lead to a difficult life.

2. Beware of naming your child after criminal or unfortunate relatives:

It is not recommended to name a child after relatives who have a criminal past, are chronically unlucky, or have faced numerous difficulties. It is believed that the child may inherit the negative aspects of his or her namesake's life.

3. Two people with the same name:

There is a belief that if two people in a family have the same name, the older one will be protected by a guardian angel, while the younger one may be less protected. These superstitions indicate possible difficulties for the younger family member.

Naming a son in honor of his father

Naming a son after a father or grandfather is a common practice to honor the memory and legacy of an older relative. However, it is believed that the son inherits not only the name but also the fate and life path associated with it. If his life was prosperous and happy, this tradition can be seen as a blessing. If the father faced difficult trials, then the son may have to bear the brunt of their trials.

Naming a daughter in honor of her mother

Similar beliefs exist when naming a daughter in honor of her mother or grandmother. It is believed that a daughter can follow in the footsteps of her namesake and go through the same life path as her maternal predecessor. While this can be seen as a way to honor the maternal line, it also raises concerns about the daughter's ability to carve her own unique path.

Psychological aspects of common names

From a psychological perspective, naming a child after one of the parents can have both positive and negative consequences. On the one hand, it can strengthen the bond between generations and create a sense of continuity. On the other hand, it can make it difficult for the child to develop a sense of individuality and identity as they carry the burden of their relatives' history.

Spouses with the same name

Interestingly, some superstitions say that if spouses have the same name, their union will be especially strong and long-lasting. This belief emphasizes the power of names in shaping fate and points to the importance of a shared identity in marriage.

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