One of the most famous traditions of the Kazakh people is “Shildekhana”. It is a whole holiday for the family of the child. Shildekhana is celebrated when the child is coming to home for the first time after the birth. The first thing that close relatives are doing to parents and their child is “Shashu”, when sweets and money pour in on the family. Poring sweets and money are blessing the child to make his live in future easier and prosperous. During that day all the friends and relatives are coming with gifts and congratulations. “Shildekhana” is provided to protect the child from physical effects of the outside world and from the influence of otherworldly forces.
The second tradition that is coming after “Shildekhana” is 40 days after the birth of the child: “Kirkynan Shygaru”. Until the 40 day of the birth the child is not cutting off his nails and hair, and he is not showing to the strangers. It is made because Kazakh people believe that the child is still too weak and defenseless to the external environment and to the evil forces. At the 40-day after child’s birth conclude a ritual of washing the child in the water with silver or gold jewelries. After the jewelries are transported to smaller bowl and the senior woman, who is usually his grandmother, should pour the water on the child 40 times with a tablespoon. At that process people around should say wishes to a child. After the washing child is prepared to cut his first nails and hairs.
When the child is one year old his parents are providing “Tusau Kesu” – the ceremony in honor of the first steps of the child. The legs of the child are tied with a thin bound rope, which should be cut after few he made a few steps by an honorable and respectful person. The parents of the child usually choose this person. After the rope was cut the child should make another few steps in order to see three things before him. Usually they are a toy dombra (national instrument), money and a book. Child should choose one of the objects, which will characterize his future. For example, dombra will mean that he will be a creative person, money that he will be a wealthy person and book will characterize him as smart person.
When the boy is 5 years old, Kazakh people provide a “Sundet toi” – a rite of circumcision. The custom is considered religious, but not only Muslims follow it. Kazakh people are celebrating it with close relatives and the boy is getting gifts from them for brave. At old times boys after a rite also got a horse form the parents, but it is not so popular at nowadays.
When the child is ready to go to school, the parents provide a celebration named “Tilashar”. Usually it is celebrated when the child is reaching 7 years old. During “Tilashar” ceremony – elder siblings, including cousins, bless him to study well. The main purpose is to lead a child into whole new possibilities that are opening up to him.