Saturday, May 11

Penelope's Laughing Ceremony

If you go down to the Indian Reservation with a baby, my aunts and uncles will be sure to ask you if he or she has laughed yet.  Ever since I learned about the laughing ceremony, I knew it was something I wanted to do for my children.  I wanted them and the others around us to learn a little about the rich Navajo heritage Penelope comes from.   Tyson and I couldn't wait for Penelope to let out her first laugh.  When it finally came time we were ecstatic.  We invited family and friends over to celebrate.

Tyson shared two scriptures about joy to open the ceremony.

2 Nephi 2:25
Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they may have joy.

Mosiah 2:41
And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God.  For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that therby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness.  O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it. 

I then explained to all of our guests that a Navajo baby's first laugh is very significant.  It signifies the baby passing from the spirit world to the human world.  The baby is considered to now be fully present.  The baby is said to take on the traits of the person who makes them laugh.  That person is also responsible to provide the laughing party.  It is their responsibility to provide the food and costs of the party.  That also includes gathering gifts for the baby to give to the guests.  Once the baby laughs the training of generosity and charity begins.  This is where the passing of gifts begins.

We helped Penelope give each adult guest rock salt.  Salt is traditionally passed out at the laughing ceremony.  We also helped her pass sugar cookies to each of the children that attended.  We had hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad, pasta salad, chinese chicken salad, fruit, beans, cupcakes and chocolate lasagna.  It was a feast to say the least.  We also showed the video of Penelope letting out her first laugh.

It was the perfect night!  Penelope stole the show in her little black romper and matching necklace.  I had so much fun planning her ceremony and look forward to all of our other children's laughing ceremonies to come. 

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  1. oh I love this!!! What a great tradition...SO FUN! What a cutie

  2. How fun! Jaxon has started to laugh also! So fun!

  3. OK, I cried this post made me so happy, oh and cause I am pregnant. Ha ha, but seriously, that is by far the cutest thing I have ever seen. She is absolutely adorable!

  4. Seriously I can't get over how cute she is! I love that tradition. you are such a cute mom.

  5. Terrific post however I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Many thanks!
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  6. I came across your blog while planning my little Ashkii's first laugh party. I am grateful for how you explained the ceremony because I'm a bilagana girl with a Navajo hubby and needed a little extra info on the why. I understood the salt and bits of the rest but your blog post tied it all together for me. I also noticed that you are LDS and love the scriptures you picked out. Being Navajo and Mormon we probably know lots of mutual friends. We may have already met sometime. In fact if you are ever in the Provo UT area look up Franklin 2nd Ward (aka the Native Ward) and come visit us. Anyhow your little girl is just gorgeous what a cutie.