Serena Williams has confirmed that her beliefs as a Jehovah's Witness mean that she will not be celebrating her daughter Olympia's first birthday in September.
Serena Williams welcomed her first child with husband Alexis Ohanian to the world on 13 September last year.
With Olympia’s first birthday fast-approaching, lots of people have been wondering how Serena plans to celebrate. Will she be baking a show-stopping birthday cake or planning an elaborate party filled with fun and games for everyone invited?
In short, no. This is because Serena is a Jehovah’s Witness and has been since her mother converted to the faith in the early 1980s.
At a press conference for the US Open Serena confirmed that her daughter is part of the faith too when a reporter asked what her birthday plans were.
Serena said: ‘Olympia doesn’t celebrate birthdays. We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses, we don’t do that.’
Jehovah’s Witnesses also refrain from celebrating Easter and Christmas, basically any holiday that they believe to have pagan origins.
Jehovah’s Witnesses also famously refuse blood transfusions even in times of life and death as they believe it is banned by teachings in the Bible. However, Serena has not confirmed her beliefs on this aspect of the faith.
Serena admitted in an interview with Vogue last year that although she hadn’t been active with her faith over the years it was something she wanted to work on.
She said: ‘Being a Jehovah’s Witness is important to me, but I’ve never really practiced it and have been wanting to get into it.’
Serena’s husband Alexis didn’t grow up with a faith and although it is not clear if he has adopted Serena’s Jehovah’s Witness beliefs she has said that he puts her needs first.
She told Vogue: ‘Alexis didn’t grow up going to any church, but he’s really receptive and even takes the lead. He puts my needs first.’
Serena and Alexis got married two months after welcoming their first child together in November 2017. They had a lavish ceremony in the New Orleans’ Contemporary Arts Center with lot sof their celebrity friends, including Beyonce and Kim Kardashian, in attendance.