A red egg and ginger celebration celebrates the first 30 days of a new baby’s life. In some families, this celebration may also occur after 100 days. Historically, a red egg ceremony was the celebration that occurred after a month long confinement of a mom and baby following birth, in an effort to avoid exposure to germs and restore mom’s health during a time of higher infant mortality rates. But today’s red egg ceremonies, also called “full moon celebrations,” are now just a festive and fun occasion to introduce the new baby to family and friends, present the baby’s name to guests, and to do what Chinese people love to do most: get together to eat and drink.
Why Red Eggs? Why Ginger?
Eggs symbolize birth, a new start and the renewal of life in Chinese culture. By dyeing eggs red, one hopes to deliver good luck to the new baby. In days past, parents announced the birth of a baby by sending eggs to friends and relatives - even for a male child and odd numbered for a female child. Current interpretations of the tradition include serving red-dyed eggs to red egg ceremony guests, displaying decorative red eggs, and passing out red egg favors like felted red eggs or red egg-shaped cookies.
Ginger is a symbolic as a way to give restored health and firey energy to the new mother. New moms will drink a traditional (pork) broth including ginger for its restorative benefits and pickled ginger will often be served to guests at a Red Egg ceremony.
Gifts for the Red Egg Celebration
Guests typically bring red envelopes with money gifts to give to the new baby. Giving a little lucky money is a way to give extra luck and fortune to the new little one!
Other popular gifts include items with tigers. Tigers are the king of animals in Chinese culture, and it’s said that they protects babies. Little ones tend to receive lots of tiger hats, bibs, and more at their red egg ceremony.
Have you been to a red egg ceremony?