When parents finally greet their bundle of joy and get to hold and cuddle their baby, it is a momentous and happy occasion for the parents. This is especially so for the mother who had been nurturing the baby for nine months.
Do you know that the Chinese has a custom or tradition of celebrating the birth of a baby? It is called the baby’s “Full Moon” or full month celebration and is celebrated when the baby reaches one month old.
In Malaysia, the country where I live is made up of a multiracial population. The Chinese make up a large percentage of the population. Hence, it is quite often that you hear people celebrating their baby’s Full Moon birthday. The main purpose is to introduce the baby to the relatives, (aunts, uncles and cousins) and also to the couple’s friends. Although the baby is supposed to be the star during the celebration, he would not remember anything except through the photographs or videos taken during the special occasion.
There will be lots of different types of food and drinks prepared for the guests. One of the items that are commonly seen is the red-colored or red-dyed eggs. The eggs symbolize a new passage in life whereas the red color symbolizes celebration and good luck and the egg’s oval shape represents harmony and unity.
During this occasion, some Chinese parents also practice the custom of shaving off the baby’s hair. Others however, would just take a small snip of the hair as a symbolic gesture. The hair is then wrapped in a red cloth and sewn to the baby’s pillow. This practice is said to ensure that the baby would be brave or not easily scared.
The baby will receive gifts such as clothing or other baby stuffs, ang pows (a red packet with money inside) or even gold jewelry. The happiest people would be the parents of course as well as the grandparents. The birthday celebration is carried out not only to celebrate the arrival of the new baby but it also serves to bring the family members closer together and strengthen the ties.
So, if you ever hear the Chinese celebrating a baby’s Full Moon, you know that it is a birthday celebration especially for the baby.
To read more about birthday celebrations, check out the
Parenting Blog Carnival for the month of March.