Today Calvin turns a month old. And so we celebrated it in a low key way with a nod to one of the traditions my family and the community maintained. It lacked only one important ingredient — family (and red dye), but we successfully rustled up eggs and ginger, and a little happy buddha cocktail holder to lend the requisite Asian flair.
In Chinese tradition, a baby receives his(her) name at their month-old party. At these ‘red eggs and ginger’ party, family and friends gather to meet the baby. The baby’s name is given and guests receive hard boiled eggs dyed red and pickled ginger to take home. The eggs symbolize fertility, red is for luck and together the package stands for happiness and renewal of life.
Guests often bring gifts of clothing, or “lucky money” envelopes, which are called Li-shihs. Calvin has certainly received many generous gifts matching these descriptions, as well as very traditional gift of a jade pendant from C&M.
Jade is considered the most noble of all gems and is said to possess the five essential virtues of Chinese philosophy: compassion, modesty, courage, justice and wisdom, as well as benevolence, knowledge, righteousness, virtuousness, purity, endurance, ingenuousness, morality and music.
The unbroken jade bracelet seen in Calvin’s hands was given to me as a gift for my month old celebration. But his hands are already too large for it!