Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Circumcision, the practice of cutting away the prepuce of males, and in some countries that of females also. The practice prevailed among many ancient peoples, and obtains in various parts of the world at the present day, notably among the Jews and the Mohammedans. Various reasons have been suggested for the adoption of the rite, some thinking it to have had a religious origin, some thinking it a sacrifice to malignant powers, others thinking that it was adopted in hot countries simply from motives of cleanliness. In the Christian Church the Circumcision (January 1) is the festival that commemorates the day of Christ's circumcision.