The article explores some aspects of modern childbirth rituals and practices among the city dwellers of Dagestan, focusing on their syncretic nature and the mixture of traditional and new customs. Proper Islamic religious ceremonies occupy a significant place in the childbirth rituals, among them being mawlid, on the occasion of the birth, name-giving of a new-born, circumcision, visiting ziyarats, etc. Traditional ceremonies include the custom of treating a new mother with flour porridge, putting a child in a traditional cradle, the first hair-cut ceremony, the loss of the first tooth, the first steps of the child, etc. Some of the popular rites were invented in the Soviet and post-Soviet times.
The paper describes several interesting details from the rich repository of folk beliefs, cults, rites and ceremonies of obviously pre-Islamic nature, recorded among the Gidatlis. The latter are a sub-ethnic group of the Avars living in the Shamil region of Dagestan.