Chinese people put their family in a very important position as they regard it as a means to keep the family blood stream continuously running. And the running of every family blood stream maintains the life of the whole nation. That is why children bearing and breeding in China becomes a focus of all members of families. It is even accepted by them as an essential moral duty. There is a Chinese saying that of all who lack filial piety, the worst is who has no children.
The first important event for the newly born baby is the one-month-old celebration. In Buddhist or Taoist families, on the morning of the baby’s 30th day, sacrifices are offered to the gods will protect the baby in the rest of his life. Ancestors are also virtually informed of the arrival of the new member in the family. According to the customs, relatives and friends receive gifts from the child’s parents. Types of gifts vary from place to place, but eggs dyed red are usually a must both in cities and towns. Red eggs are chosen as gifts probably because they are the symbol of changing process of lift and their round shape is the symbol of harmonious and happy lift. They are made red because red color is a sign of happiness in Chinese culture. Besides eggs, food like cakes, chickens and hams are often used as gifts. As people do in the Spring Festival, gifts are always given in even numbers.
During the celebration, relative and friends of the family will also return some presents. The presents include those which the child may use, like foods, daily materials, gold or silver wares. But the most common one is some money wrapped in a piece of red paper. Grandparents usually give their grandchild a gold or silver ware to show their deep love for the child. In the evening, the child’s parents give a sumptuous feast at home or a restaurant to the guests at the celebration.
In China, it is believed that everyone turns one year older on New Year. A Chinese child’s first birthday of being one-year old is an important event. When a baby turns one year old, the baby is placed in the centre of a group of objects and toys such as coins, a doll and a book and they wait to see which object the baby picks up. According to ancient beliefs, the object that the baby chooses is a symbol foreshadowing its future life. If it picks up a coin it might become rich. If it reaches a book it might become a teacher. If it reaches for the doll it might have many children.
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