7 Tooth fairy traditions from around the world
14th February 2016
There are 3 central mythical figures in the western world: Father Christmas or Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.
The origins of these traditions date back to Pagan times and have naturally evolved through time and geography. Different kids in different continents celebrate the losing of a baby tooth slightly differently to what we are used to…
In the UK & USA the tooth fairy is what it says on the tin – a fairy that collects teeth from children. The usual custom is for the child to place his/her tooth under their pillow at night and at some point the tooth fairy will arrive to exchange the tooth for some money. This is done to help ease the trauma of losing a tooth.
The average tooth rate in America has gone up to a high $3.70 per tooth! A considerably higher rate than the 50p we remember receiving for losing a tooth!
Many Spanish-speaking countries don’t believe in the Tooth Fairy at all, but a mouse called Perez. Like the Tooth Fairy, Perez also collects baby teeth but instead of money, children are given a gift.
In some Spanish speaking countries, kids stick their teeth in a glass of water before bed so Perez can rehydrate himself after the thirsty work of collecting children’s teeth. He then leaves the small gift in the empty glass.
South Africa have the same basic idea of the Tooth Fairy but instead of placing the tooth under the pillow, their baby teeth go into slippers!
India, China, Japan, Korea
What child wants to place their tooth under their pillow if they can toss it up in the air? When a tooth is lost from the lower jaw, kids throw their tooth on the roof but when it is from their upper jaw, it is thrown to the ground. Kids do this while yelling out a wish that the missing tooth be replaced by the tooth of a mouse, as mice have teeth that continually grow!
Iraq, Jordan, Egypt
Kids in the Middle East are encouraged to toss their teeth up towards the sky, which is a tradition that dates back to the 13th Century.
It is tradition in Central America to put the tooth into some fat and feed it to a dog. This is done because they want the adult tooth to be as strong as the dog’s tooth.
Mice are also big in France, as the French also abandon their teeth to their very own mouse, ‘La Bonne Petite Souris’. The mouse will replace the lost tooth with either money or sweet.
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