Congratulations! Mummy and Daddy! It has been a full month since you brought home your precious newborn from the hospital. This means that it is time to celebrate this important milestone, more commonly known as ‘Man Yue’ (mandarin for full moon) or a baby shower in Singapore.
The baby full moon party comes from an old Chinese tradition. Infant mortality rates were high back then, so it means a lot when the baby survives the first month of life. This is the time to showcase and “show off” mother and baby officially for the first time to family and friends. It is a joyous occasion.
Different types of celebration/party
Are you going traditional or modern?
It is fascinating that our generation in the 21st century can put modern touches on traditionaloccasions. With our creativity leaving no stone unturned, baby shower is evolving into a modern and colourful affair, shedding some old traditionbut preserving the important customs.
Modern Chinese parents opt for celebrating this momentous event by throwing a banquet–style party at a restaurant but the traditional full moon party is held at home.
Now that is a decision you have to make for yourself – whether you like to go traditional or modern.This will greatly affect the party’s program.
If you are firm in tradition, your baby must have his or her first haircut at this baby full moon party. After the snipping of hair, mother and baby are to take a bath in water that is mixed in with pomelo leaves. This ritual is believed to wash and ward off bad luck and evil.
Hair from the baby’s first haircut can be used to make a calligraphy brush and on this brush you can engrave well wishes of happiness, health and wisdom.
Traditionally, the paternal grandfather selects a Chinese name for the infant. The choice of name means everything, as it is believed that the name will determine the character and personality of your infant.
Why do we offer auspicious foods?
In Chinese culture, red represents luck, prosperity and happiness. Therefore it is very common to see that ‘red’ foods are served for this occasion. Eggs represent new life and fertility. Ang Ku Kueh, a traditional Hokkien rice cake, shaped like a turtle and stuffed with a variety of pastes like peanut andbeans, represents longevity andfortune. It is considered a must-have at baby’s full month celebrations.
Gift packs for your baby full moon party
At a baby shower, guests would be showering the baby with loads of gifts. Expect baby products in the forms of strollers, baby’s clothes, gifts vouchers, toys and even hampers coming your way. Some wouldgivered packets as a symbol of blessing. Preparing small gift packs as giveaways is a great way of showing your appreciation for your guests’ attendance.
Where to celebrate
Where should we hold the baby shower?You need to consider the location before deciding on how many people to invite.
Full moon partytoday range from full-fledged catered events, with a buffet spread for guests, to smaller family-only get-togethers. Parents normally host the celebration at home if they have the space, or book and rent a venue (hotel or large restaurant) to accommodate everyone.
What does celebrating baby’s full month involve?
Different cultures around the world celebrate baby’s full month in many different ways. Typically, in Singaporea 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 orin restaurants. 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.