Tradition of China — Birth Celebration
Birth Celebration Activities in the Pregnancy
In the tradition of China, the Birth Celebration consists of many rites, from pregnancy to baby's one-year-old birthday.
The father would write two names during the pregnancy period, one boy and one girl. The mother would put it into a red envelope and seal it.
After the child was born, the parents would open the envelope together and tell the baby his/her name.
The husband would bring some gifts (varies in different places of China), first to his in-laws and then to his own parents, to share the good news.
Baby Steps in the Tradition of China — Man Yue
One month after the baby’s birth, the parents would invite family and friends to celebrate, when they also will receive some gifts from the guests, like toys, clothes, accessories, etc.
Now in China, the most popular gift is money, so that the parents could buy anything they need.
On that day, parents would hang a bow on the left side of the door if it's a boy, or hang a red scarf or handkerchief on the right side if it’s a girl.
Then they lit incense and inform their ancestors about the newborn, which is not widely applied nowadays.
But introducing the baby to everyone is always the most important part of this rite.
Usually, the mother would take the baby out to meet all the guests, while the father would put a jade pendant on him/her, and tell everyone about the baby’s name and its meaning.
Together, the parents would show their baby where is the heaven, earth, four directions, relatives, and friends. Some parents would hold a party 100 days after the baby’s birth too.
Draw Lots in the Birth Celebration
On the baby’s one-year-old birthday, the Draw Lots, also named Zhua Zhou, is a very important activity in Chinese culture.
On that day, parents will put new clothes on the baby, and finish this activity before lunch.
Objects of the Draw Lots should have similar size and color and should be things that the baby had never played or seen before, to make sure it’s fair.
Then the parents and close relatives prepare a spacious room and put all the objects like a circle. Afterward, the baby will be put in the middle, to see which one he/she would grab.
In the past, it was a way to predict the baby’s future. Now, it is more for fun, and a way to tell a baby’s hobbies and interests.
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