Cape Town - Serena Williams has confirmed she will not be celebrating daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr’s first birthday due to the tennis ace’s Jehovah's Witness beliefs, according to the Daily Mail.
When asked at a press conference about how the US Open will affect celebrations for her baby girl, who will turn 1 on Saturday, 1 September, the 23-time Grand Slam champ revealed her religious beliefs don’t permit her to celebrate the day.
“Olympia doesn't celebrate birthdays,” the 36-year-old said. “We're Jehovah's Witnesses, we don't do that.”
Practising Jehovah's Witnesses don’t observe holidays they believe to have a pagan origin. These include Christmas, Easter and birthdays.
In 2002 Serena first revealed her religious beliefs, telling Asap Sport: “I am Jehovah's Witness. I think if you don't believe in God it's going to be tough to live life because pretty much that's the basis of life, it comes from God. Being a Jehovah's Witness, obviously we believe in God and the Bible. And without Him I wouldn't be here right now. I really thank Him for everything.”
Husband Alexis Ohanian, who co-founded Reddit, has also become a practising Jehovah Witness despite not growing up in a religious household.
Last year Serena spoke about the importance of her religion and how Alexis has adapted to being part of it. “Being a Jehovah’s Witness is important to me, but I’ve never really practised it and have been wanting to get into it,” 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,” she added.