CHRISTENINGS AMONG THE NOBILITY IN THE CZECH LANDS IN THE EARLY MODERN AGE
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The christening of a newborn child, was one of the most important rituals in the lives of members of the nobility. Its significance can be observed at three levels: the spiritual level, the social level, and the representative level. An important part of any christening was the selection of a name, the choice of which could be influenced by family tradition, symbolism, confession, or a desire to establish closer ties with an influential godparent or other important person. From the second half of the 16th century it is possible to note a more frequent choice of foreign names, and over the course of that century it became popular to choose two (and even three) names. The christening itself took place in the palace chapel or in the local parish church. Furthermore, the puerperium was perceived by society as an impure period, up until the ceremony of introduction to the church, which officially concluded the puerperium of the mother and returned her to the regular operations of the household.
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