Why the stork is associated with childbirth


 

The tale of a stork delivering a baby to a loving and well deserved family is common in many cultures.

Parents in Scandinavia needed a goto story when their little ones asked about where babies come from and the stork folktale was it. In many other cultures, storks represent fertility, springtime and good luck. In Ancient Rome and The Netherlands, if a stork built a nest on your roof, it was deemed good luck. In Germany, they are harbingers of good fortune.

The superstitious believed that a stork could make a woman pregnant just by looking at her. Hans Christian Anderson weaved a tale about the folklore in one of his fairy tales titled "The Storks". Just as with many of the Grimm's Brothers Tales, this tale is pretty dark.

There is a mystery surrounding the bird because of their size and migratory patterns.  Let me explain about their size first. It's awe-inspiring as they can grow 40-50 inches tall with a wingspan of 61 to 70 inches and can weigh between 5 and 10 pounds -and their nests! They tend to grow their nests year to year and they have become as big as 97 inches in diameter, 6.5 feet high, and weigh between an incredible 1100 and 1980 pounds! In light of this fact, I would have to say that "yes we have been blessed because a stork has nested on the roof of our house" would not be my first thought. 

As to the migration, they migrate south at a time when a lot of women conceive  (during midsummer's eve) and they come back 9 months later when the women are ready to give birth.  Throughout the world, there are many stories of a large white bird carrying a baby bundled in cloth through the air to a deserving family. What is less known is that the bird varies from culture to culture. The heron, pelican, wood stork and crane.

*Thanks to Chandra Jennings for the beautiful pic

The wood stork has a bit of a different look. Hans Christian Anderson wrote a children's tale about the myth called "The Stork" adding his classic dark twist to frighten poorly behaved children.   

 Are you planning a stork themed baby shower? If so, this Pinterest Board is dedicated to the very popular baby shower theme. There are many great ideas in it to help inspire you!


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