Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Baby 111 : A full moon celebration

According to my mom-in-law, full moon celebration for baby girl must be earlier than the actual date. We had it on 26 October 2008. A significant date for the baby and mommy (coz I get to bathe, yeay...)Chinese starts counting a baby's age not from birth but from conception. Hence, after 1 month from delivery, we celebrate the baby's first birthday - "full moon celebration" and they are considered 1 years old then. That's why, if you were to ask Chinese from the olden days how old are they, they will ask you back - "Chinese or English?". If Chinese I am 21, if English I am 20. And so on this day, my baby is one year old. What do we do?
We celebrate birthday with hard boiled eggs dyed in red. Why egg? Chinese mythical tales has it that the earth and sky came from a man, who was initially shaped in the form of an egg. When he woke up, he separates the shell by pushing upwards and stepping downwards. He could not leave as the sky and earth will re-combine if he leaves, so he stood for centuries until the sky is permanently separated from the earth. By this time, he was also tired and fell dead. His eyes became the sun and the moon. His hair the trees and flowers. His body the mountains and hills. His blood the sea and flowing rivers. Who is he? He is Pan Gu.
And so the eggs signifies birth in its original shape. Why red? Chinese believe red signifies good luck.
As for Malaysia Chinese, we includes nasi kunyit (turmeric glutinous rice) and curry chicken. We also feast on G Geok Chou (pork leg braised in vinegar) and white rice. All these food are supposed to rejuvenate and expel wind in the body.
Many new Chinese mama would proudly declared that they did not follow the tradition/practice for the first month after delivery. Basically new mamas were refrained from bath, washing their hair, eating cold food, drinking cold drinks, eating/drinking while standing up, carry heavy stuff or wash hands with tap water. I know it sounds extreme, but I have seen and heard enough about middle-age women complaining about their health and regrets over their own failure to comply with the tradition. Say whatever you want, I do believe that a woman's health during the 1 month after delivery is very fragile. It is also a window of opportunity for those women who wish to improve their body constitution. It was said that if your general health had been poor, this one month could improve your body constitution (something like a renewed you). Likewise, if you did not take care during this 1 month, the damage done cannot be undone, no matter how much you try to rejuvenate thereafter.
All being said and done, it is also the time for the proud parents and grandparents to show off their beloved baby. I think it is quite the right time, when the mama is more ready to socialise. Relatives and friends will show their support by giving gifts or help take care of the baby/house/new mama. Close family members usually give gold as a form of long term asset for the parents or the baby.
I thank my family, friends and colleagues that so kindly send me help, gifts and well wishes. It's very heart-warming for me and thoughtful of them. I am very lucky to have you!

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