Recently a friend of mine celebrated her newborn's full moon and she gave me a lovely package of food that is traditional to the celebrations. The Chinese celebrate the first month (full moon) of their babies with a grand banquet to announce the baby's arrival and name. This day also marks the end of a confinement period for the mother and she is allowed to move out of the house freely. During her confinement period, the mother and baby is looked after a confinement lady (Pui Yee in Cantonese) who will prepare food with ginger and wine to help dispell the wind in the body. You are also not allowed to drink anything cold and throughout the whole month, you can only drink a special red date drink they make. The confinement lady will also help the mother look after the baby as this is the time for her to rest and recover from the birth.
Instead of a banquet, my friend decided she will deliver full moon packages to close friends and relatives instead. Don't you love the cute little box it came in?
In the package, there was two red ang koo which has a green bean filling. Traditionally a Hokkien dish but now used by other Chinese groups, these glutinous rice cakes are stained red for the auspicious celebration and served during special occasions. The rice cakes are said to resemble the shell of a tortoise (Koo in Chinese) as the Chinese believe this means longevity and prosperity.
Red eggs which are hard boiled eggs dyed in red are also another traditional food during the baby's full moon. It is to symbolise good luck and new life. They will be served with pickled ginger.
Something totally Malaysian, there will also be nasi kunyit (Malay for glutinous rice stained with turmeric) and curry chicken in a full moon celebration. The nasi kunyit is known as festive yellow rice to some and is served in full moon or birthday parties. I know the chicken curry looks super oily but it tasted so yummy.
If you wish to cook these dishes, Kuali has the recipes for you to recreate the full moon package at home. Thanks to baby I and family for the lovely food as everything was yummy.