6 First Period Rituals around the World


Your first period! Now that is an experience. Fear, apprehension and excitement are just a few emotions that course through a girl’s young heart.  The transition of girl into a lady - Now that is something that must be celebrated! 

As it turns out, there are numerous cultures around the world where the first period or menarche of a girl marks her transition into a new phase of life. 

Therefore, this is an occasion that is celebrated by tradition and ritual in different regions spanning the globe. Considering how getting the first period could be a foreign experience for young girls, rituals and ceremonies are often conducted to lighten the emotions and embrace entry into the realm of womanhood. 

First period rituals around the world: 

1. South Africa 

In South Africa, a girl’s first period is celebrated by throwing a huge party and inviting close friends and relatives. The girl is given several gifts and presents but she is required to stay indoors and away from children and men for the duration of her menarche. 

2. Philippines 

In the Philippines, the mother washes the blood-smeared undergarment of the girl with plain water. The girl’s face is then washed with the same water, in a belief from the ages that doing the same will prevent the occurrence of pimples. The girl is also required to jump 3 steps from a staircase near her, as this is significant of how long her period will last. 

3. Brazil 

In Brazil, a girl’s menarche is related to every family member, relative and friend. The occasion is celebrated via rituals, and what is note-worthy is that even men are informed of the girl’s transition.

4. Italy 

An Italian girl is referred to as “Signorina” when she first gets her period. The term means “young lady” or “miss” and is indicative of a new phase in the girl’s life. Family, friends and relatives are relayed the good news and celebrations ensue.

5. Iceland 

This is a country that starts off a girl’s journey to womanhood on a sweet note. The mother bakes a cake that is decorated in red and white colours that symbolize her daughter’s significant milestone. The girl is treated to this delicious cake when she starts her first period. 

6. Israel

A girl in the country of Israel is required to lick a spoon dipped in honey, by ritual. The belief associated with this act is that her future periods would become easier to undergo and deal with. 

While these are interesting customs and traditions from cultures all over the world, the essence of these rituals is the celebration of a girl's transition to a woman. This is a stage in the girl’s life that could be frightening, so the celebrations can often be seen as a way to reassure her that the changes happening inside her body are normal. 

BreakFree is a brand that stands firm in the celebration of women and the healthy functioning of their beautiful bodies. This is exactly why we have pads that can be chosen to complement your period flows and requirements. Our comfortable pads are available in multiple sizes so you can choose the one that suits your body perfectly. Find all your comfort and period needs taken care of with BreakFree.