December 10, 2012

Chinese Red Egg & Ginger Party





We recently celebrated a very old Chinese tradition called the Red Egg & Ginger party.  A baby’s life was celebrated when he/she turned one month old.  Infant mortality was high in the old days, and if the baby lived through its first month, it was a happy sign it would continue to live life.  We were a little past due with the party but when is it ever too late to have a party?

ZOE’S OUTFIT WAS MINE when I turned one month for my party, and my mother kept it in mint condition all these years.  My grandparents had a dragon hat with fur made complete with eyes, ears and nose to go along with a red silk jacket fastened with loop and button knots.

RED IS TRADITIONALLY a lucky color in the Chinese culture.  The Chinese restaurant, Mandarin Court, {map} already comes decorated with red and gold, so I just added a few modern touches.  A 5-ft balloon shaped like a big flower comes in custom colors from Balloon Bonanza, so I chose yellow and magenta.  {My friend Crista tipped me off on this source.  Sophisticated and not too kiddish.  Perfect.  Thanks, Crista!}  I like the idea of having something for guests to read when they sit.  I cut an 8.5 x 11 cover weight paper in half, and printed menu cards with the menu on one side and a story of the tradition on the other.  Placecards were printed in chartreuse to complement the red décor.  I chose an elegant font and placed silhouettes of babies on each.  Inside a red Chinese take-out container sat a red-dyed egg symbolizing new life, and candied ginger for a family’s deep roots. 

THE DINNER IS A CHINESE BANQUET consisting of a 9-course meal.  Shown here are two of my favorite dishes.  Abalone paired with black mushrooms is seafood you don’t see often.  It belongs to the same mollusk family as clams and scallops.  The other dish is one of the most delicious ways to eat a lobster.  Already chopped up for you to easily pick the meat out, the sauce rivals the lobster consisting of black beans, egg and scallion.  It’s so good, I’d pour it over a plate of rice and call it a day!


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How lucky to have such wonderful cultural traditions. Keep them up and your daughter will have a rich base in life. Best wishes!

What a scrumptiously elaborate dinner. I wish I was there!

This is one happy red dinner! I wish the happiest of wishes to you and your family.

Oh, how nice to still have a family tradition. The banquet looks absolutely delicious!

Kudos to mom for keeping your costume in such great condition. Hope you do the same for Zoe. It's such a interesting tradition!

Oh that little girl is precious! What a party, little one.

Lovely party! I really like how you combined both traditional and contemporary elements, and the typed page explaining the RE&G customs is a great touch for the uninitiated.

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