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A Cause for Celebration

Let me begin by thanking those of you kind enough to send messages of congratulations regarding the birth of my daughter (Lola) on November 23rd. Quite a few of the emails mentioned the tradition of smoking a celebratory cigar after the birth of a child – although significantly more of you reminded me of ritual for new fathers handing cigars out to celebrate. Message received and understood.

The precise origins of this tradition seem to have been lost over time, with some claiming it originates from the seventeenth century and others dating it right back to a Native American ritual. Either way the modern tradition of handing out cigars to celebrate a birth has been well documented in popular culture throughout the years and has many references in film and literature, not least in Hemmingway’s short story “Indian Camp” when Uncle George passes out cigars to the men attending a Native American’s birth. It undoubtedly comes from an age when men were far less likely to be directly involved in the birth. Instead of being inside the birthing room they would be pacing expectantly outside, more often than not with friends and family, in a waiting room or a local public house. So, when word came through of the new arrival, the father would buy a ‘round’ of cigars to celebrate. You could even purchase “boy” or “girl” banded cigars for the purpose until fairly recently.

However the tradition started it is hard for me to think of a better way to celebrate any significant event than with a good Cuban cigar. So, having had the best part of nine months to plan my cigar for this occasion, and dedicated considerable thought to my choice, I narrowed it down to a Cohiba Gran Reserva Siglo VI, a Cohiba Reserva Esplendidos, a 20 year old Partagas Lusitania (cabinet selection) or a Partagas D1 – and which of these fantastic cigars did I choose? I smoked a single Cohiba mini had a small glass of red wine and went to bed exhausted.

I have smoked a few cigars in the past three weeks, but still don’t feel like I have smoked my ‘celebration cigar’ yet. Although, with the festive season getting into full swing, I shouldn’t think this will be a problem for too long. So, if you see me out celebrating over the next few weeks and fancy a smoke, come on over and please don’t worry – the cigars are all on me!

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