Here is my post from Yesterday August 17, 2014:
I attended a “Red Egg Ginger” Baby Party today, a Chinese tradition a baby’s first month birthday calls for a celebration, and we did not have Shark Fin Soup! Yeah! Look at all the amazing food we had, filled with dim sum, and traditional dishes, like pig’s feet, egg, and ginger in a vinegar broth…I ate only the vegan dishes, they were delicious.
*Read more on my Facebook Page: Surf Soup and on tumblr “Thesurfsoup”
Say NO to Shark Fin Soup and Shark Finning
I am making Sharkless Shark Fin “Surf Soup” http://kck.st/1oA3hjQ and I will post the recipe soon!
Sign the No Shark Finning Petition:
All about “Red Egg and Ginger Party”- A Chinese tradition:
In Chinese culture, a baby’s first month birthday calls for a celebration. Proud parents introduce their latest addition to friends and relatives by holding a red egg and ginger party. Traditionally, the baby’s name is also announced at this time.
Guests attending red egg and ginger parties bring gifts. Lysee or “lucky money” in red envelopes is often given to baby boys, while girls may receive expensive jewelry. The guests don’t leave empty handed, either. The parents hand out red-dyed eggs, symbolizing happiness and the renewal of life.
Red egg and ginger parties have their origins in ancient Chinese culture.
As in other countries, infant mortality rates in China were quite high prior to the medical advances of the twentieth century. A baby who reached one month of age was likely to survive, and so the event was celebrated.
Traditionally, this was also a time to reintroduce the mother to the world.
The Chinese believe mothers are in a highly weakened state in the period immediately following birth. Just as English custom calls for new mothers to enjoy a brief period of confinement, Chinese mothers have traditionally been expected to rest indoors for one full month after giving birth. This helped ensure they didn’t become overtired, or contract any germs or illnesses from the outside world that could prove dangerous in their weakened state. Besides resting, they drank a nutritious broth made with pig’s feet, eggs, vinegar and ginger. Many new mothers still follow this ritual today.
In the past, due to the traditional importance of male children in Chinese culture, red egg and ginger parties were sometimes given for boys only, or the celebration for boys was more elaborate. Today, parties are given for babies of both sexes.
In recent years, some of the traditions surrounding red egg and ginger parties have been modified. Parents may choose to hold the celebration at a fancy restaurant, complete with costumed Chinese performers or even a children’s magician. Also, the baby may be anywhere from one to three months old by the time the party is held. But the custom of passing out red-dyed eggs continues. Parents may also use the brightly colored eggs to announce the birth; an even number of eggs are sent out for a boy, and an odd number to announce a baby girl.
Red Egg and Ginger Party where proud parents introduced their new baby to friends and relatives. Traditionally, a newborn was not given a name or formally accepted into the family until this time because, as in other countries, infant mortality rates in China were quite high. A baby who reached one month of age was likely to survive, and so the event was celebrated.
The naming of the baby was very important because the Chinese believed that one’s
name can influence everything that happens in life. In selecting a name for the baby, it
was up to the family to decide if the given name will be the child’s formal name or a “milk name.”
The milk name is a nickname used until the child starts school, or even up until marriage. Â If given a milk name, often a girls’ name was chosen for a boy, because it was thought that a male child was the ” special prey of evil spirits” and that these spirits will be tricked if the boy had a girl’s name. Â A female, and sometimes a male child, was given an animal name or called some sort of derogatory name in a joking sort of way.
A child’s formal name was usually picked by it’s grandparents or in some areas, a fortune-teller.Â This was the name that was presented during the Red Egg and Ginger Party.
Traditionally, the baby’s head was also shaved during this party. The girls’ head was shaved before the image of “Mother”, the Goddess of Children, and the boy’s head was shaved before the ancestral table. Â The symbolism of this practice is not entirely known, but it is speculated that this is the removing of the birth hair, to mark the point of the child’s independent existence. Today, many Asian grandparents believe that shaving the girls’ head at birth is a way to encourage the growth of long, lustrous hair although this practice isn’t usually done during Asian American celebrations today.
In these modern times, parents continue to hold this celebration to signify the formal acceptance of the new child into the family. The celebration dinner for the guests can happen at home or in a restaurant.
What’s the significance of Red Eggs and Ginger?
As in weddings or festivals, the color red represents happiness and good luck.
Eggs are significant because they symbolize fertility and the renewal of life. Also, their shape is traditionally associated with harmony and unity. According to some sources, an even number of eggs means a daughter has been born, while an odd number represents a son.
Ginger is important because in the yin (cold) and yang (warm) balance of Chinese food, ginger adds a touch of ‘hotness’ to the nutritional needs of the new mother, who is tired and weak (or too yin) after giving birth.
Guests receive red-dyed eggs and ginger at the party. Additionally, instead of sending thank you cards to the guests, more traditional parents may send thank you gifts consisting of small round biscuits with pork in them.
What gifts should I bring?
Guests attending red egg and ginger parties can bring gifts of clothing or lucky money:
Babies are given tiger hats, tiger shoes, and tiger bibs. In Chinese folklore, the tiger is the king of beasts and is believed to have special powers for protecting children. The tiger hat that covers their heads has gold, silver and jade charms sewn on it for good luck.
The tiger shoes have embroidered eyes that are sewn wide-open. These openeyes on their feet help keep children from tripping as they first learn to walk!
Lysee or “lucky money” in red envelopes was traditionally given to baby boys, while girls received expensive jewelry by close relatives. Nowadays, however, this tradition extends to all babies.