One-Month Celebration: Baby’s Big Start

In China, birthdays are not commonly celebrated, although city dwellers do so more frequently than their country cousins, and children and old people more than middle-aged people. Many people celebrate birthday simply by eating red eggs and “longevity noodles”, symbols of long life inspired by the noodles’ shape, though nowadays many city dwellers choose to eat Western-style birthday cakes instead of noodles.

However, birthday is really a big deal for the newborn: special ceremony and food is occasioned and consumed by a birthday.

The first important event for the newly born baby is the one-month celebration. According to the customs, relatives and friends receive gifts from the child's parents. Types of gifts vary from place to place, but eggs dyed red are usually a must both in town and the countryside.

Red eggs are chosen as gifts probably because their round shape is the symbol of harmonious and happy life; and that red color is a sign of happiness in Chinese culture. Besides eggs, food like cakes, chickens and hams are often used as gifts. 

In the southern part of China, Pig's feet & eggs with ginger and sweet black vinegar are given to relatives and neighbors along with red eggs. Actually the dish is specially prepared for mothers under the traditional postpartum confinement after giving birth: according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the dish assists in expelling the wind and dispelling the cold, symptoms of which are usually seen on women right after giving birth.

During the celebration, relatives and friends of the family will also return some presents such as foods, daily materials, gold or silver wares. But the commonest are some money wrapped in a piece of red paper. Grandparents usually give their grandchild a gold or silver ware to show their deep love for the child. In northern China, grandparents give self-make handcrafts as gifts, most of which are shoes and hats in tiger-headed patterns and shapes.

In the evening, the child's parents give a rich feast at home or a restaurant to the guests at the celebration.

Pig's feet & eggs with ginger and sweet black vinegar are given to relatives during one-month celebration.

Eggs colored in red are also given to relatives and neighbors during one-month celebration.

Grandmothers in like to make tiger-headed caps and shoes for babies during newborn celebration.