So, I may have mentioned this before, but part of my cultural heritage (and probably the largest part) is Chinese. While I don’t really practice a lot of the Chinese customs, it was wonderful to have a lot of my Wong relatives visiting from various different part of the world, hence we decided that we would have a full moon party for Jared.
In my not so in-depth knowledge of Chinese culture, here are a few things to know about a full moon party:
- It’s a celebration of a child turning one month old. Jared was born on 23rd February, so his full moon party should have been on the 23rd of March but our relatives were only arriving in April so we just had it a bit later. Their visit was planned around Jared’s due date (which was the 7th of April) but Jared was a bit early!
- It’s meant to mark the end of confinement, which is where the mother is literally ‘confined’ to the house and has a number of rules and rituals to follow (like drinking red date tea all day, eating only particular foods and not washing their hair for a month). I didn’t actually undergo confinement and was out and about a couple of days after Jared was born!
- There are a number of customs that are celebrated at the full moon, such as shaving the baby’s head and having mum and baby bathe in water mixed with pomelo leaves. No, we didn’t do these either – where on earth am I meant to find pomelo leaves in Adelaide?
- However, we did try to cook food to suit the occasion (or rather, mum and grandma cooked because I had two children stuck to me all day). Just look at the spread:
Some of the dishes there are ginger wine chicken, chicken curry, beef rendang and gado gado. We also made nasi kunyit (glutinous sticky rice with turmeric) but my mum was not too impressed with my steamer. No, I don’t have that typical huge Asian bamboo steamer thing, so we tried to go between rice cooker and microwave steamer and most of it turned out okay (though one lot I burnt right to the core, oops!).
Afterwards for dessert, we were meant to make ang ku kuehs (red glutinous peanut cakes) but decided that we would just rather make glutinous rice balls instead. Love the pink! I’m amazed that Jacob actually ate two balls – he’s not usually the type to eat things that are chewy! I was half afraid that he would choke because they’re so sticky.
The event was fairly low key and it was just nice to be able to spend time eating good food with family. The older boys (3 and 2) had a ball of a time playing in the sandpit outside and running about the house with cars and trains, while Jared pretty much slept through it anyway! Speaking of which, here he is:
My talented sister-in-law made this beautiful framed piece for Jared as a dedication present (we had his dedication the day before that)! And here Jared is, posing in his fancy Ralph Lauren suit (also a gift to us).
We are just so blessed to have a rich cultural heritage and a beautiful and supportive lot of family members. No matter the distance, we will draw close to each other in good and bad times. 🙂