According to Chinese custom, celebrations of a baby’s birth don’t take place until the occasion of his or her first month. This tradition dates back before the advent of modern medicine, when infant mortality rates were high. If a baby made it to his or first month safely, that boded well for survival. The mother would have completed her confinement period and would be able to leave the home and receive visitors. For these reasons, the baby’s full month, or Man Yue is the ideal time for celebration!
What does celebrating baby’s full month involve?
Typically, a family celebrating a baby’s full month will hold a party and invite guests to come to the party. Most of these parties usually take place at home or in a condominium’s function hall, although many are also held at a restaurant. It is common to cater a buffet for the guests, with traditional ‘auspicious’ treats like red-dyed eggs, ang ku kueh and pickled red ginger.
Your guests will come bearing red packets (ang bao), baby hampers, toys or gift vouchers for your baby, just like the Chinese version of a baby shower.
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Why do we offer auspicious foods?
Mainly, all these ‘red’ foods represent luck and happiness. Eggs represent new life and harmony, while ginger is good for Qi. Ang Ku Kueh is a traditional Hokkien rice cake popular in Singapore and Malaysia, shaped like a red turtle (hence the name 红龟粿) and stuffed with a variety of pastes like peanut, mung bean, durian and more. Turtles represent longevity and wealth, so you can see why they are considered a must-have at full month celebrations.
How do I prepare for celebrating baby’s full month?
Find out how to plan the perfect party on the next page..