Sunday, September 30, 2012

Grand Nephew's full month party

We had a small party to celebrate grand nephew's full month. According to chinese custom, when baby is one month old, a party will be held to introduce baby to relatives and friends.

Guests were given red dyed eggs to symbolize happiness and the renewal of life. For the chinese culture, Red is always associated with good luck.

Guests will give presents or money in red packets (ang pow or hong bao), closer family members will give golds as gifts. Hubby and me being granduncle and grandaunt, we bought a small gold chain and a pendant, with the high price of gold, it really costs us a fortune lol. But the happiness the baby bought, it is really worth it.

Friday, September 28, 2012

My World Tuesday - Lanterns in Chinatown

Times passes fast, it is time for the mid autumn festival. This year Chinatown and nearby districts were decorated with with as many as 16,800 lanterns.

Some were handpainted by children, they really looked cute and lovely.

For other sky watchers, please hop over to Skywatch Blog

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mid Autumn Festival - Mooncakes

Mooncakes are a must during mid autumn festival. Decided to buy some mooncakes from Tai Chong Kok pastry shop. It's a very old and traditional shop selling the traditional mooncakes without altering their flavour. Nowadays we have durian, green tea, etc flavours but Tai Chong Kok is still selling the original and traditional mooncakes. I too enjoyed the traditional moon cakes but dont mind to have durian mooncakes too hahaha.

The shop had gone through some painting and decoration but everything is still the same, especially the shop's signboard. The shop has been here since the 1930s.

I got the single egg yolk mooncake rather than the double egg yolks mooncake for healthier choice.

There is a folk tale about the overthrow of Mongol rule facilitated by messages smuggled in moon cakes. Mooncakes were used as a medium by the Ming revolutionaries in their espionage effort to secretly distribute letters to overthrow the Mongolian rulers of China in the Yuan dynasty. The idea is said to have been conceived by Zhu Yuanzhang (朱元璋) and his advisor Liu Bowen (劉伯溫), who circulated a rumor that a deadly plague was spreading, and the only way to prevent it was to eat special mooncakes. This prompted the quick distribution of mooncakes, which were used to hide a secret message coordinating the Han Chinese revolt on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. Another method of hiding the message was printed in the surface of mooncakes as a simple puzzle or mosaic. To read the encrypted message, each of the four mooncakes packaged together must be cut into four parts each. The 16 pieces of mooncake, must then be pieced together in such a fashion that the secret messages can be read. The pieces of mooncake are then eaten to destroy the message. (Source: wikipedia)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Baby is 12 days old

My grand nephew in law is 12 days old, they hold a small gathering for close relatives to annouce the arrival of the new born baby. The occasion was celebrated by cooking pig's trotters in some sweet sauce of black vinegar. The dish helps keep the new mom in keeping warm during this one month confinement period.

Traditional confinement practices are based on the belief that the new mom's body is 'out of balance' after giving birth. The theory is that the new mom is now in a 'cold stage' due to the loss of blood (lochia) and energy from the birth. As such, the confinement period focuses on re-energising the body with the 'warmth' that has been lost.

Chinese, Malay and Indian communities all have their own confinement practices. While different ethnic groups may do things differently, the main aim is to help the mother and her body recover from the intensities of childbirth.

Traditionally, mother or mother-in-law will be the one taking care of the new mom during the confinement period. Many Chinese mothers however, hire a confinement nanny, a pui yuet (Cantonese for 'companion for a month') who will see to the mom and her baby’s needs.

The nanny will cook special confinement dishes for the new mom, bathe her baby, and do the baby's laundry. She will also take over the night feeds so that the mom can rest.

You can view more information about confinement from source

Yummy, my share of the pig's trotters cooked in vinegar and lots of ginger.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I am promoted to be Grand Aunt In Law

Yayyy, at last I am a Grand Aunt In Law, last week hubby's nephew's wife gave birth to a healthy baby boy by Caesarean. Mother and child are doing very well now. Nice to see a new generation born, hope to see more additions to the new generation. We may see a small baby boom during this year being the Dragon year, the most auspicious for birth in the Chinese Zodiac.

This is the KK Women's and Children's Hospital , formerly known as "Kandang Kerbau Hospital", is the largest hospital specialising in healthcare for women and children in Singapore. In 1966, the hospital entered the Guinness Book of Records for delivering the highest number of newborns within a single maternity facility for that year, and it continued to hold on to this record for a full decade, delivering 85% of the population. Fifty two years ago, I was born in Kandang Berbau Hospital too but not in this new, clean looking building, the old hospital was located on the site opposite this new hospital. Back then we were the baby boomers, too many babies and not enough hospital beds.

Singapore, just like many countries is facing a low birth rate problem. To encourage parenthood, the government gives out baby bonuses of up to S$4,000 ($3,200) for each of the first two children, rising to S$6,000 for the third and fourth. It also matches deposits made into a Child Development Account. Mother has a four month maternity leave and there's talk about having paternity leave for the father too to encourage more to have babies. What policies do your country implement to encourage or discourage citizens to have more babies?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

epiphyllum or Keng Hua blooms at midnight

As per previous post about the epiphyllum or keng hua plant that grows in my brother's house, my brother used his handphone to take photos of the flowers that only blooms at midnight. They were so pretty but the image a bit blur.

At least now these photos of the blooms can conclude my topic on the flowers, too bad I did not get to view them bloom on site.