Foreigners are not familiar with the concept of a baby full moon party. In fact, a clueless ang mo (Caucasian person) in a forum thought that the baby full moon party is a party on the beach where thousands of babies gather for a rave. Sounds ridiculous? We tell you what it’s all about!
For the benefit of those who are not quite sure what a baby full moon party entails or what’s involved, read on for some ideas.
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.
Are you going traditional or modern?
First, ask yourself if you’re a traditional or modern Chinese. 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.
Must have food items at your baby full moon bash
Since it is called the red egg and ginger party, it is obvious that those are the two items you must have at your baby full moon party. Another popular favourite is red ang ku kueh (red hued glutinous peanut cakes). You will be fine if you have these staples. Why red? Red symbolizes luck and blessings whereas eggs represent fertility and new life.
Gift packs for your baby full moon party
At the full moon party, all your relatives and friends will be giving your infant hong bao(red packets) with money, gold and jewelry. But these days parents will also receive baby necessities like toys, books, gift vouchers and practical stuff for the newborn—just like a Western baby shower but one month later.
Since you will be receiving so many amazing gifts, it is only fair that you give your guests something in return. To save cost just DIY. Pack some food items like red ginger, red eggs and perhaps some ang ku kueh and place it in a box to hand out to your relatives and friends. You can add other items in your gift pack or goodie bag as well. This would be a gesture of appreciation to those who are sharing in the celebration of your new bundle of joy.
Head shaving for your baby dearest
If you are a stickler to 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.
If you want to go the extra mile, parents can even get a souvenir out of this. 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.
Chinese name selection
If you have not given a Chinese name to your baby yet—the baby full moon party is the perfect time to do so. Traditionally, the paternal grandfather selects a 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.
Tell us your ideas for a baby full moon party!