Barrows, Samuel J.
The isles and shrines of Greece — Boston, 1898

Page: 193
DOI Page: Citation link: 
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/barrows1898/0215
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THE SHRINES OF ATTICA

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etiquette for the mother to visit the neighbors until
forty days after the child is born. Then the mother
goes to church with the child and the nurse, and
offers prayers with the priest, who takes the child up
in his arms and goes round the holy table two or
three times. The father does not go to church on
this occasion. From this time the mother is free to
go where she pleases. The birth of a child is an
occasion for rural festivity. The neighbors bring in
candies and dainties, which, being too strong a diet for
the newcomer, are eaten by the rest of the family. If
the child is sickly and in danger of death, baptism is
administered at an early day. It is not valid without
a priest, and unless some one is designated as god-
father. If the child is well, the baptism takes place
when it is forty or fifty days old, and is usually
administered at the home; but frequently the mother
wishes to christen the child in a church dedicated to
some saint. The mother, nurse and child go with
friends. When the priest reads the gospel before
the holy door the nurse puts down the child beneath
the picture of the saint to whom the mother has
dedicated it. No sooner is it put down than there
is a rush to get the baby's cap. He who gets it is
the godfather (vovvos), or godmother. The mother
usually chooses the godfather, and for the first child
it is generally the person who has acted as best man
at the wedding. Likewise, when a person has become
godfather it is generally the rule to ask him to be
the best man at the wedding of his godchild. The
best man would be rather old in some cases for this
duty, which is often transferred to his son. Of course
the least the noimos can do is to buy a dress for the

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