“Okay there are many different ways to host a gender reveal party. Oh and gender reveal party is just where the gender of the baby is informed to the parent in different ways. One of the ways that was recently trending was gender reveal through sports. For example, like in a basketball gender reveal party, people will fill the basketball with purchasable colored smoke bombs. One parent will take the shot, and if the get the ball into the hoop, the colored smoke bombs will break open, revealing blue smoke if the baby is a boy, and pink smoke if the baby is a girl.”
I collected this from my friend that I made in university. He is Asian American and grew up in the city of Walnut his whole life. When I asked of any American folk traditions or rituals, despite gender reveal party not being historically and traditionally embedded into every American household, he informed me of the gender reveal party as it was something that is a very recent trend and something where I could discuss the effects of social media on the spreading of folklore, traditions and rituals. The gender reveal party, especially in the form of basketball, is significant to my friend as before seeing this ritual, he had no interest and intention on gender reveal parties. However, after watching many viral clips on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, he tells me that now he wants to perhaps have one gender reveal party for his own child because he wanted to participate in the activity due to it looking fun.
The gender reveal party example shows hybridization of traditions. By relating the gender reveal to a very relatable activity such as sports, the gender reveal ritual is definitely more exciting than just being informed of the baby’s gender. Additionally, as it is a party, it is a ritual that promotes socializing with others.
The ritual also outlines the power of social media. The ritual became so popularized on the internet that gender reveal products are extremely accessible.
However, this goes against propagative nature of folklore due to the ritual spreading through views on a video, rather than through word of mouth. This could be due to the ritual being so dependent on the visual effects of the colored smoke bombs, as telling one about throwing a basketball into a hoop to have pink smoke exploding outside indicating that the child is a girl is less exciting than seeing it through video, and hearing the cheers of many people.