Baby’s Full Month Celebration 满月@ Sweetest Moments

Singapore’s population is aging fast due to good medical care and longer life spans. The fact that there’s lower birth rates does not help. If we are not already displaying statistics of more elderly than young, it will soon! Just a couple of months ago, my children asked if it was alright by me should they not reproduce after they got married. This demographic about-turn has left families and our government debating: Who is responsible for the care of the elderly and how does one legislate love?

In the modern world, there can be union with or without love; but without respect (even if there is love) the love would be vile.

“Of all man’s actions there is none greater than filial piety.'”

And in the “Shi King,” the Book of Odes, it is thus beautifully phrased:

“When early dawn unseals my eyes,
Before my mind my parents rise.”
—(Minor Odes, Decade v., Ode 2, quoted also in the Li Ki, bk. xxi., sect. i., 7.)

Filial piety is considered a key virtue in Chinese culture, and it is the main concern of a large number of stories. One of the most famous collections of such stories is The Twenty-four Filial Exemplars (Ershi-si xiao 二十四孝). These stories depict how children exercised their filial piety in the past. While China has always had a diversity of religious beliefs, filial piety has been common to almost all of them; historian Hugh D.R. Baker calls respect for the family the only element common to almost all Chinese believers.

There is a Chinese saying that of all who lack filial piety, the worst is s/he who bore no children:

“There are three things which are unfilial and to have no posterity is the greatest of them.” (Bk. iv., pt. i., c. xxvi., v. 1.)

Having children in Singapore is a luxury many youngsters can’t afford or don’t want to support but it was an essential moral duty not too long ago… So when a wife is found to be pregnant shortly after marriage, the Chinese would say she has  囍 (xi – happiness) and has brought double happiness to her family, especially to her in-laws.

After the baby is born, the mother is required to 坐月子 (zuoyuezi), meaning to convalesce for a month following childbirth, following a special diet which includes Pig’s Trotters With Ginger and Vinegar 猪脚姜醋, and observing various taboos to protect the body from exposure to the “wind”. During this month, outdoor elements and lethargy could impose ill effects on her health and thus affect her later in life.

The first important event for the newly born is 满月, the one-month-old birthday celebration which coincides with the end of the new mom’s confinement period 出月子 (chuyuezi). Customarily, relatives and friends receive gifts from the child’s parents. The types of gifts vary from dialect to dialect, but red-dyed eggs are a must! To Chinese, eggs represent fertility, their round shape is a symbol of harmony while red is a color for luck, blessings and happiness.

In accordance with the certain Chinese dialect custom, if one has a son, plain round ang ku kuehs (red glutinous rice cakes with fillings such as mashed mung beans or ground peanuts) in odd numbers are given out. If the baby is a girl, ang ku kuehs shaped in the traditional tortoise moulds, which are more intricate and delicate,  are given out in even numbers.

The Chinese baby’ one-month-old birthday party is about witnessing a new life which just entered the world. It is about gathering with loved ones, it is about joy, laughter and celebration!

All foods are in even numbers.<br />Top box from left:<br />2 Good Luck Red Eggs.<br />2 Mochi.<br />2 Ang Ku Kuehs.<br />Bottom box from left:<br />2 Fruity Bites.<br />2 Mini Cupcakes.<br />2 Choco Donuts

All foods are in even numbers.
Top box from left:
2 Good Luck Red Eggs.
2 Mochi.
2 Ang Ku Kuehs.
Bottom box from left:
2 Fruity Bites.
2 Mini Cupcakes.
2 Choco Donuts

Good Luck Red Eggs. Traditional and must-have food.

Good Luck Red Eggs.
Traditional and must-have food.

Ang Ku Kueh. Traditional and must-have food.

Ang Ku Kueh.
Traditional and must-have food.

Mini Chocolate Doughnuts.

Mini Chocolate Doughnuts.

Mini Cupcakes.

Mini Cupcakes.

In Singapore, you can easily find caterers and bakeries that provide full moon packages. They have a menu according to your budget, but will usually include traditional food like Good Luck Red Eggs and Ang Ku Kuehs.

The package Chris gave me was:
Classic Wonder (EA08)
1 Customized Baby Card
2 Ang Ku Kuehs
2 Fruity Bites
2 Good Luck Red Eggs
2 Choco Donuts
2 Mini Cupcakes
2 Mochi
$10.90 (w/GST $11.66)

Chris gave me this for her first child's one month celebration. It came with a customised card with her child's photograph and name.

Chris gave me this for her first child’s one month celebration.
It came with a customised card with her child’s photograph and name.

Sweetest Moments
Address: 28 Tai Seng Street, #03-01,
Sakae Building (use lift lobby 2).
Singapore 534106.

Tel: 62862553

Mon – Sun: 9.30am to 5pm
Public Hols: 9.30am to 1pm

Happy one month old Natalie Ngan and Happy 出月子 (out of confinement) Chris Gwee! 😀

Information and quotes found online.

Click here for recipe of Pig’s Trotters With Ginger and Vinegar 猪脚姜醋.

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Comments
2 Responses to “Baby’s Full Month Celebration 满月@ Sweetest Moments”
  1. Jessica says:

    I loved learning about all of the Asian customs surrounding the birth of a baby. The giving of red-dyed eggs was quite a surprise for an American like me! I really don’t think I’d do well on a diet of pig trotters with ginger and vinegar, though. Guess it’s a good thing I’m not pregnant. Lol. I loved this post. Thanks for sharing, Sam!!

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