What does it mean to be born with a shirt?

What does it mean to be born with a shirt?
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In this article

  • because they say born with a shirt
  • the meaning of being born with a shirt
  • from the historical point of view: the Benandanti
  • the magical powers of those born with a shirt
  • being born with a shirt does not always bring luck

Why do they say "born with a shirt"

“Tradition has it the way to say "to be born with the shirt" dates back to the time of a newborn's baptism: the wealthiest families prepared a baptismal shirt to be worn by the child after the ceremony - he explains Gabrielle Iannaccaro, professor of linguistics and glottology at the University of Stockholm and at the University of our city-Bicocca -. Having her, therefore, meant being part of a wealthy family, a guarantee of good luck for life. In reality, however, the actual etymology of this phrase is quite different ".

"Born with a shirt" in fact it refers to a very rare event, with mystical meanings, which occurs at the moment of childbirth. «The shirt is a metaphor for the placenta. In one in 80 thousand births, the child is born totally wrapped in amniotic sac or with its fragments attached to the skin, often on the head. This is why in many Nordic cultures it is said "to be born with a hat" ».

READ ALSO: The fashion of eating the placenta. Better not

After giving birth, the placenta was removed and stored, some put it in a pouch to carry around the neck. Great misfortune, on the other hand, was destined for those who destroyed or lost it.

The hidden meaning for those born in the amniotic sac

But why be born with the placenta Would it bring luck? «Because the mother's womb is a symbol of protection - continues the professor -. Thus, the fact that the amniotic sac accompanied the infant at birth seemed to protect him throughout her life. "

In addition, it is a very rare event which, at the same time, does not involve any problems for either the mother or the child. “It is therefore a kind of miraculous event, with a thousand meanings ".

From the historical point of view: the Benandanti

From a historical point of view, it is interesting to know that in the mid-sixteenth century a sect developed in Friuli, probably heretical belonging to a semi-Christian cult. “These are the Benandanti, individuals they claimed to be Born with shirt and who got together to fight the witches. A hundred years later, however, it was they themselves who were accused of witchcraft by the Inquisition ».

The "magical powers" of someone born with a shirt and placenta

  • In Iceland, New Guinea and Southeast Asia they become prescient
  • In Indonesia and North America they could talk to ghosts
  • In ancient times they were eloquent people

Virtually everywhere children are thought of "Born with shirt" have particular powers. “In Iceland they become prescient, as well as in New Guinea and Southeast Asia. In Indonesia and North America, but in the latter country it is probably a tradition that derives from emigration, these children could talk to ghosts ».

In late antiquity, however, it was believed that those born with a shirt “were gifted with particular eloquence. Just like St. John Chrysostom and St. Jerome, to whom we owe the translation of the Bible, who had this dowry precisely because they were born with the amniotic sac still attached ".

Another power that was associated with the placenta was that loving: «It was used as an ingredient, along with many others, for love potions».

The luck of the placenta could also be "to broadcast"." Often the mothers who kept it passed it over the heads of their other children. In Dalmatia and the Balkans, on the other hand, the dying were touched to ensure a better fate after death. "

Over time, a real trade in placentas (or fragments of them) developed. “These exchanges flourished throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries - continues the expert -. And still at the beginning of the twentieth century there is evidence of the sale of small pieces of dried placenta in London for the sum of 20 pounds, an exorbitant sum for the times ».

Being born with a shirt does not always bring luck

  • In the Balkans it was thought that these children were destined to become wizards, witches or vampires
  • In Scandinavia it depended on the color of the placenta

Yet, being born with the placenta would not be a good omen for all peoples. “In many places, especially in the Balkans, it was thought that these beings were destined to become wizards or witches or even vampires. In Scandinavia, however, everything depended on the color of the placenta: if it was white, it brought good luck; if she was black or colored, bad omen". And even the first "born with a shirt" of which there is evidence was not at all lucky. "He is the Emperor of the city, Diadumenian, whom no one remembers because his reign lasted only a week" concludes the teacher.

Updated on 17.01.2022

  • Born with shirt
  • first year
  • give birth
  • placenta
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