This series has taken a little bit of a hiatus but I am excited to get back to it! Today, I wanted to share with you all about a special day where we celebrate our family’s Chinese American heritage — our children’s 100 Day Celebration! It’s sometimes celebrated at the one month mark and I’ve also heard it called a Red Egg and Ginger Party. Read more to learn why!
During ancient times when unfortunately infant mortality was high, families delayed naming their children and then celebrated their survival after a month or three months. The tradition continues today and its a way for parents to introduce the baby to family and friends.
For my daughter 4 years ago and my son 1 year ago, we drove up from Virginia to New York City where my husband’s family lives. We had a delicious meal at a big Chinese restaurant where all the aunties and uncles could meet our children for the first time. My husband’s parents gave each child a new outfit and a tiny gold ring to symbolize long life and prosperity. At the restaurant, there were red eggs (symbolizing luck and unity) and pickled ginger which is good for after childbirth. If the baby is a boy there is an even number of eggs and if its a daughter its an odd number. Not sure why!
There has been a lot written about the tradition and if you are interested I’ll put the links below.
From a non-chinese mother’s perspective, there are lots of things I love about this tradition:
- It’s so fun to celebrate a baby 3 months into the their life! It’s not as stressful as taking a one month old to a restaurant and I love celebrating the child after they are born rather than a baby shower late in the pregnancy were I was often pretty uncomfortable.
- A 3 month old is much more alert (and smiley!) It’s a joyous occasion!
- You get to introduce your child to family all at once. While this can sometimes feel overwhelming, its wonderful to have the opportunity!
To learn more:
- Great website with lots of info on etiquette, customs etc. http://www.redeggandgingerparty.com/etiquette
- Background on all of the special birthdays http://www.folkartchina.com/about_china/customs.html
- Modern take on planning a 100 day party https://www.sassymamasg.com/planning-a-100-days-celebration-singapore/