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Attending a Nigerian Baby Naming Ceremony: Your Ultimate Guide on What To Wear, Gifts, and Expectations

What to Wear to a Nigerian Baby Naming Ceremony?

So one of your new friends has just invited you to his/her baby naming ceremony for their newborn, and you are wondering how you will show up to this event looking your very best. 

family with baby

This ceremony is not only a joyous occasion but also a significant cultural ritual that varies from one ethnic group to another, reflecting Nigeria's rich diversity. The Yoruba, Igbo, and Hausa tribes, among others, have their unique customs, beliefs, and procedures for naming a baby yet they all share the common theme of welcoming the child into the world with love, blessings, and hope for a prosperous future.

If there is anything you can be sure of, Nigerians love their traditions a lot second only to the love of a good party Jollof rice which I am sure will be on the menu at this event. Possibly served with some nice fried turkey and dodo (plantain). Okay, now I'm getting hungry.

We are here to educate you on what to wear, what to expect and possibly what kind of gifts you should be getting the celebrating family for their newborn child.

After all, they have gone all out to plan the great party and serve you some delicious jollof rice.

Naming Ceremony statement pieces

You cannot go wrong with a dress sis, we have an array of African design categories but we recommend a dress any day of the week for events like these. 

Naming ceremonies are very traditional and some see it as a very conservative event because the spotlight should be on the cute little baby. So a special Maxi/Midi/Mini Dress will do the job just fine. 

The Jasmine Dress is so elegant and classy at the same time and it screams 'wear me' for these kinds of events, the colours on the fabric are subtle but the pleated bust and corset design make it stand out and will have people at the event giving you side glances and compliments.

The Chioma Infinity Midi Dress is our second favourite pick, the infinity design will give you several ways of wearing this lovely dress, you can join the ceremony looking one way and leave the ceremony having an entirely new look. The asymmetric hemline and the drawstring detail at the bottom edge give it a classy and "I'm here to enjoy myself in my 'showing out' look".

And finally, our third favourite look for your lovely event will have to be the Jamila Maxi Dress, the dress gives 'rich-aunty' vibes but with an edge. The cold-shoulder cut look takes it to a whole new level and it says "I'm not just any auntie, I am the rich and living my best-life auntie", with its intricate African patterns and eye-catching design, it's sure to turn heads. Pair it with simple accessories to let the bold print shine, or layer it with a jacket for a more subdued look.

What to Expect at a Nigerian naming ceremony

Now that we have got the fashion statement pieces out of the way, let's talk about what to expect at these ceremonies. Depending on the ethnicity or religion of your friend, if he/she is a Muslim - you can expect to see an Imam at the ceremony blessing the newborn baby with prayers and announcing the names of the baby to the attendees at the event. 

Likewise for a pastor doing the exact same at a church. Many cultures in Africa believe that a name determines the destiny of the bearer. 

Regardless of the ethnic background, Nigerian baby naming ceremonies are an integral part of the cultural fabric, symbolizing the unity of the family and community. These ceremonies are not only about assigning a name but also about instilling identity, belonging, and purpose in the new life. The process of naming is imbued with prayers, hopes, and expectations that the child will grow up to embody the virtues and values represented by their names. The celebration is a vivid reminder of the communal spirit, shared joy, and collective responsibility in nurturing and guiding the next generation.

What gifts to get the celebrating Family

Traditional gifts to give might include items of cultural significance such as handmade clothing, jewellery, and artefacts that reflect the family's ethnic heritage, serving as a lasting reminder of the child's roots and the communal bonds that tie them to their ancestry. Monetary gifts, known as "Owo mi da?" (where is my money?) In Yoruba culture, is also common, to provide the parents with resources to care for their child's immediate and future needs, giving you the chance to live up to your rich auntie persona. 

Practical gifts that cater to the baby's needs are always appreciated, including baby clothes, diapers, blankets, and feeding supplies. These items not only ease the parents' financial burden but also convey a message of care and consideration for the child's well-being.

Regardless of the specific gift chosen, the act of giving is imbued with a spirit of generosity, love, and hope for the newborn's prosperous future. It's a way for friends, family, and community members to express their joy and commitment to supporting the child's journey through life, making the Nigerian baby naming ceremony a truly communal and heartwarming celebration.

So go have fun and be sure to have a good time!

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