In many countries like the USA, they celebrate baby shower before the baby is born. As for Chinese custom, this is traditionally celebrated one month after the baby is born. This also coincides with the end of the new mum’s confinement period. During the confinement period, visiting the new mum and baby is not advisable. The full month is the day where both mother and baby are introduced to the extended relatives and friends.
It is a big celebration in Singapore but when I had my first child, Mr K, we lived in London with no relatives close by and friends to invite. Before the party, the baby undergoes the hair ritual. So we had a small hair cutting ritual for Mr K. In this photo, my mum held Mr K while I cut a bit of his hair to keep inside an ang pow (red packet).
This is my daughter, Ms C. Again we cut her hair when it was her first month birthday. Then we rubbed egg white on her hair. According to my great-grandmother, rubbing egg white will help hair to grow thicker.
In Singapore, there are various ways of saving baby hair. You can either keep it in an ang pow or tie it with red ribbon or turn them into a special calligraphy brush, engraved with their names or auspicious words.
Thanks to my cousin for sharing this photo with us.
In The Tiger Tales’s blog post, she wrote about her son and her research about: hair-cutting rituals of different cultures.
Once the hair ritual is over, the party is held. In Singapore, people hire a common area/hall/venue, or host at their home and serve with buffet. Traditionally, they will have cakes and red eggs to give to the guests. In Hokkien dialect, they will also gift ang ku kueh. Some of bakeries will provide full moon packages that suit your budget. As we live in UK, we had to make do with what we had available. My mum had dyed the eggs earlier in the morning to give to our guests.
Red colour is always to symbolise good luck and fortune and egg represents fertility and their shape symbolises harmony. So we dyed the egg red!
This is one example of a full month cake box. They range from traditional to fanciful cakes. Some bakeries will include the red egg inside the cake box.
The baby will typically receive ang pow (red packet containing money) or gifts from guests. My children are very fortunate as my Singapore relatives had sent a stack of ang pows via my mum! So we saved the money for their future use!