Oshichiya (The 7th Night After Giving Birth)
Every region has a custom to hold some kind of celebration on the night that falls on the seventh day after the baby is born, which is called the “Oshichiya” (お七夜).
In the past, relatives, neighbors, matchmakers, godparents, midwives, and others were invited to a feast, where the baby’s name was announced and the baby was recognized as a member of society for the first time.
This is a remnant of this tradition, and this gathering is also known as the “celebration of naming called “Meimei Shiki“(命名式).
How to celebrate the Oshichiya
The standard celebration meal for Oshichiya is a red rice (sekihan) served with a fish head. Other auspicious items such as kombu (kelp) and red and white fu (wheat gluten) are also used, but they vary from region to region. You may also serve simmered dishes, sashimi, etc. according to the taste of the guests.
Since it is impossible for the mother to prepare the food for the Oshichiya, it is common to ask the grandparents to help, or to have the food catered.
It would be a pity to take a seven-day-old baby out to a large gathering, so it is best to put the baby in a separate room and allow the guests to see him or her before the feast begins.
Who to invite to the seventh day
The seventh day of life is the time when the mother and the baby are discharged from the hospital, and the mother is easily exhausted. Therefore, today, it is common to invite only the grandparents from both sides of the family for an informal celebration.
If you are invited to the seventh night
Although there is no specific custom, it is a good idea to bring a gift of some kind. It is common to bring a bouquet of flowers, a cake, sake, fruit, a small toy, or baby items.
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