The third day after the birth of a baby is called Sanzhao. On this day, the Sanzhao rite will be performed. According to traditions of many ethnic groups in China, parents will bathe the newborn and invite relatives to a feast, while guests will give blessings to the newborn, therefore, the rite is also named Xisan.
Dong people will hold the Sanzhao rite for the newborn as they attach great importance to the birth of a new life. In Dong villages, the rite is called Sanzhao feast, which is usually held on the third day or an odd-numbered day within 10 days after the birth of a baby.
In general, baby’s parents will invite their relatives instead of friends with more relatives from the mother’s side being invited. Except for the grandfather on the mother’s side, other guests are expected to arrive at the host’s house before noon with gifts. Among them, the gifts from the grandmother on the mother’s side are the most generous, including pork, glutinous rice, eggs, salted grass carp, Dong cloth, Dong cotton cloth, silver necklaces, silver locks, silver bracelets, two new quilts and a pair of wooden trunks or dressing tables. In addition, the grandmother usually provides half of the rice and meat consumed at the feast. According to the custom of the Dong people, baby clothes should not be prepared before the birth of a baby, and after the baby is born, he or she will be wrapped in soft old clothes. At the rite, relatives from the mother’s side such as the baby’s aunts are pretty busy because they will make clothes for the baby to wear after the rite, while taking turns to hold him or her and saying some auspicious words. Afterwards, young male relatives from the father’s side will invite one of the aunts to sing a song to name the baby. After the song, the grandmother will announce the baby’s name after discussion with other relatives.
The Sanzhao feast normally starts at noon. Boiled egg with sweet rice wine and oil tea will be served before lunch, which is more sumptuous than dinner. After dinner, guests will sing Dong pipa songs for the baby to express their blessings. After the feast, female guests will go home with a piece or three pieces of fatty meat each weighing about 200 grams skewered with bamboo sticks, indicating that the host family provides too many dishes to be eaten up by all the guests. They bring skewered meat back home to make oil tea, with which they will invite their neighboring girls to share, celebrating joy in spreading the good news, which is commonly known as Chuanrou rite (skewered meat as a return present).
（Translated by Yang Hong）