Sunday, October 15, 2006

Aricia full month celebration

* The day has come for us to celebrate Aricia's turning one month in advance *

The Chinese celebrate the birth of a child on the 30th day of his life, calling this joyous event "full month" 滿月.

This practice was done since a long time ago in China. At that time, infant mortality rate was high, so if the baby survived his first month, it would mean that the worst was over and he could expect to live. If the baby was a first-born son, some families would throw grand banquets to celebrate and announce his name to relatives and friends. To symbolize new life and good luck, unshelled hard-boiled eggs dyed red were given to guests. Red eggs are an integral part of full month celebrations. They were distributed to relatives, friends, and neighbors even if no banquets were given.

Even now, we still continue the tradition of giving red eggs to announce the arrival of a newborn baby. In Singapore, the Chinese also prepare a glutinous rice dish to distribute along with the red eggs. Different dialect groups have different ways of making this dish. If I remember correctly, the Teochew version is sweet and steamed. The Hokkien version is savoury and fragrant, cooked with fatty pork, dried shrimp, Chinese mushroom, dark soy sauce, and fried shallots. But this dish was a privilege, reserved for the birth of baby sons only.

Times have changed, things are made simpler these days. In order to thank family and friends for their gifts, proud new parents usually give cakes and ang ku kueh(red turtle cakes)- signifies longevity as turtles have long lives.And I have no idea when and who came up with the two different shaped ang ku kueh. If your newborn baby is a girl, the ang ku kueh is flat. If your newborn baby is a boy, the ang ku kueh looks a little pointy. There you go! You never knew all these do you?

We started the day practises by cutting her hair (we couldn't find anywhere to cut, so mom snapped off some from near her ears); then cut her nails; gave her a nice bath with pomegranate leaves. The mom (me!) also have to shower with pomegranate leaves inside my bucket of herbal water. Then we changed the little "Royal Princess of Athens" - Aricia - into her dress. Well, it wasn't supposed to be a dress, it is a romper but because my baby is too small and if we had not sewn up the romper part; we would not have been able to see her legs.Haha! Thanks to mom who helped me with the sewing.

Cutting Hair
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Look! Who's cutting her hair today also?!
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Cutting Nails
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Shower Time
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All Dressed Up & Ready to GO!!
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We then proceeded to Pow Sing Restaurant for our family lunch. Although it was Aricia's full month celebration, Athena didn't lose out on getting the attention. She got another new toy from 小姑 and a thick file filled with various cartoon characters colouring pages; a big box of colouring pencils from 大姑.
Lunch ended. But before we left, I quickly gave out the cake vouchers as well as these favors I had prepared.
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We then made our way home, we were tired and I kept thinking to myself "It's time to pump.It's time to pump."

When we got home, I realised that we did not even take a family photo at all. So we had to make do with this.
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Anonymous said...

A mth already!That's real quick!

Your favors are very interesting and nice. Not bad, got time to prepare! :)

Lily Ann said...

I prepared them before I popped.Not that fantastic favors lah!
If you want, next time I can help you prepare favors- so jia you!