In case you’re wondering, a full moon party (when the baby turns one month old) is celebrated once confinement is over! It comes from an old tradition as back then babies within the first month had a higher chance of -well as gruesome as it may sound- mortality. As the baby survives the first month, it gives the parents the opportunity to showcase their little one and present them to the outside world for the first time. I have to admit though, it felt more like a celebration for the mother as I can finally escape from the house! Being confined for a month can really do things to people but of course, confinement is very important to allow the mother to rest and recover while ensuring the baby is confined from the outside world which is filled with germs too big for her and her tiny immune system.
There are a few traditions that comes along with the full moon party. For example the baby’s head is shaved, the hair wrapped in red cloth and sewn into the pillow. This is suppose to help soothe the baby to sleep. Then the mother and child is to bath in pomelo leaves to wash out bad luck and evil. But not many observe the traditions anymore and most just have fun by throwing a party!
Nowadays however most parents prefer to celebrate their baby’s 100th day as the baby will be more interactive with a better immunity hence less vulnerable and mummies will also have more time and energy to plan. The baby’s 100 days is celebrated as a blessing the baby will live 100 years.
Either way, it’s just a fun way to throw a party to celebrate the birth of a newborn and the health of a mom!
1. Choose your date and book your venue
Traditionally the full moon is celebrated as the baby turns one month old. Of course many would prefer to do it on a weekend (usually the weekend after) so that doesn’t leave much time to plan. I had started planning Emma’s full moon party about 2 weeks before and I had chosen to celebrate at home but we still needed to hire a caterer and most caterers would require minimum 2 weeks notice.
If you choose to do it outside, pick a venue (restaurant or banquet hall) which is great for babies. Preferably somewhere air-conditioned with minimal echo. Will your baby be in a stroller? A carrier? Or are you bringing your playpen? Think about where you could change your baby’s diapers.
2. How many guests?
I threw a simple full moon party. You can choose to have invite only extended family or throw a bigger one with friends. It really is up to you.
3. Design an invitation card (optional)
With WhatsApp and Facebook event, it’s much easier to just create an event and spread the news by mouth (or more like by typing). Don’t forget to keep the fb event private or risk having weird strangers show up.
I had the help of my SIL (who owns an event company) design the invitation card. If you don’t have an access to a designer, a quick google search can bring you to some card design templates which you can edit online. I’m hosting another get-together in KL for my little one and designed a card online since I had the time. Here’s the link: click here. It’s super easy and fast even a noob like me can do it within minutes!
4. Full moon must-haves
A full moon party is also known as red egg and ginger party so of course those two items are commonly served. Red eggs are served as a symbol of good luck, happiness, prosperity and fertility which are also made during birthdays. It’s not difficult to do on your own if your caterer doesn’t serve it.
Red egg recipe:
20-30 eggs (even number for girls, odd for boys)
pinch of salt
1-2 teaspoons white vinegar (which makes the eggs porous to allow the dye to seep into the shell)
red liquid food dye (or half a teaspoon red powder mixed with a cup of water)
1. Add your salt and white vinegar to an insane amount of water (enough to submerge your eggs)
2. Add eggs and boil for 20-35 minutes
3. Drop red food dye into an old bowl/basin (you wouldn’t want to dye your new bowls, would you?) and add a cup or two water if desired.
4. While still warm, place the eggs into the red dye and coat them using spoons. The dye dries faster if the eggs are still warm, preventing the dye to leak into the egg whites.
5. Place the dyed eggs on a kitchen towel/tissue to cool and dry. Voila!
Recipe for pickled ginger: click here
(Remember pickled ginger has to be made 2-3 days in advance)
Many caterers do have a specific full moon menu/package nowadays so don’t forget to ask!
Another favourite to serve according to Hokkien tradition is the ang ku kueh. The red-orange sticky glutinous rice cake with mung-bean filling represents blessings for the baby and longevity for the elderly. For baby boys, it is usually round and smooth whereas for the girls, it is moulded into a tortoise shape.
5. Plan your outfit (optional)
It’ll be a fun idea to get some mommy-baby outfits for the day! If is after all a celebration for the both of you. I couldn’t find any outfits I fancied online (that didn’t blow my budget) so I just colour-coordinated with my baby daddy and dressed my dear daughter in -you guessed it- all pink with a cute bow on her head.
6. Hire a photographer or decorations (optional)
I didn’t get a photographer or a decorator but if you have the budget and time, they’ll be a great addition to your party! I just whipped out my iPhone and got my friends to send me their photos as keepsake and to make into a mini album for Emma.
A dessert table is very popular nowadays and I was tempted to get one but they were busy on the date I had planned. Find one that suits your need and budget or if you’d like do your own dessert table with some simple cakes, cooked, cupcakes, cake pops and others. You can even add the red eggs, pickled ginger and ang ku kueh to your dessert table.
And that’s it! You have everything you need for a full-moon party! It was great seeing loads of friends and family together again after being stuck at home for a month. Just remember to have fun and take loads of pictures. Oh and here’s a little hack, I didn’t buy much clothes or any toys for Emma as most of the gifts that day had turned out to be well.. clothes and toys! *wink wink*