Where did the myth of delivery storks originate?
We all know how babies are made. The stork can be seen flying over rooftops with a little cloth bundle before landing at the doorstep of a happy couple who then unwrap their precious, smiling newborn—right? This myth was once a common story to tell children who are too young to listen to anything different.
In Western Culture
Storks have been associated with babies and family for centuries. In Greek mythology, people associate storks with stealing babies after Hera turned her rival into a stork, and the stork-woman attempted to steal her son. According to Egyptian mythology, a stock usually presented the soul of a person—the ba. The return of a stork meant the return of the soul. In Norse mythology, the stork represented family values and commitment to one another.
Furthermore, in several mythologies, storks are also a symbol of fidelity and monogamous marriage because they widely believed that storks mate for life. In truth, they don’t actually mate for life. But they do have a tendency to return to the same nests every year and usually mate with the same partner.
In Other Cultures
Storks are also appeared in Chinese, Israeli, and various European cultures mythologies. But the association of storks bringing couples a newborn baby is believed to have started in Germany several hundred years ago.
Why did the myth of delivery storks originate?
Behavior of Stocks
The natural behavior of storks lends a clue to their association with birth. As a migratory bird, white storks would fly south in the fall and return to Europe nine months later. Usually people see them heading north and nesting around March and April. Babies born in March and April were likely conceived in June of the previous year. Midsummer’s Eve is a celebration of the summer solstice, but it is also a pagan holiday of marriage and fertility. As many marriages and other couplings would take place during this time, many babies would be born around the time that the storks could be seen flying north, making the connection that the “stork brought the baby.” The symbolism of their migration pattern combined with their history in myths and legends probably contributed to the popularity of the story today.
Hans Christian Andersen popularized the fable in The Storks, a short story he wrote in the 19th century. In the story, storks flying above a village are teased by a young boy and get their revenge by delivering a dead baby to the child’s family. In this version of the story, the storks plucked babies from a pond where they were dreaming, to deliver them to families of good children. Another popular version of the story was that babies were found in caves called Adeborsteines—which, in German, literally means “stork stone.” Adeborsteine can also refer to stones from which babies would “hatch”; black and white stones that children threw over their heads to tell the storks that they wanted a sibling; or stones that babies were laid upon to dry after they were pulled from the sea.
The story was likely spread due to the perceived, and slightly odd, human necessity to waylay children’s awkward questions. In Hans Christian Andersen’s time, baby-making was particularly a taboo topic. Even today, many children get siblings before they are deemed ready for “The Talk”. But their curious nature means parents have to tell them something. Because of their long history associated with babies and family, storks are an easy story to tell kids sometimes in the same breath as teaching them valuable life lessons like always being honest…
What to write in a 3D pop up new baby card?
We hope these unique newborn baby wishes will help you welcome your near and dear newborn babies. A baby is the best gift to all parents. With the arrival of a newborn, parents are overcome with happiness and seem to have the greatest gift they could ever have. Nothing in this entire universe can exist that can make parents as happy as having a baby. So, you must convey wishes of congratulations to all of the parents who are your near and dear ones. Especially when they give birth to a little baby with a newborn card.
You should write messages in the cards to congratulate the parents, as well as convey good wishes to the newborn baby for his or her upcoming bright future. Congratulate the parents on the arrival of a newborn baby in the family! Send warm wishes for the new baby and shower them with your blessings. Some unique new baby congratulations messages are shown below:
- Congratulations on your new baby!! This is such a wonderful time for your family and we hope that babyhood is filled with lots of fun, love and cuddles. All the very best!
- A brand new miracle to call your own! Congratulations
- Wishing you the very best of luck with your new baby and your new life as a family.
- The next few years are going to be the best years of your life.
- Wishing you and your newborn many years of good health, love, and happiness.