Traditionally, Chinese has very strict rules when a mother gives birth to a baby. The mother is treated with special foods and usually ‘kept hidden’ in the house for the full month. So, the full month is call the confinement because the mom is literally and physically confined to the home. The only place she goes is the hospital and nowhere else as she is considered ‘dirty’ and not welcome to visit other people. *roll eyes*
Therefore, when the complete month is up, the birth of the baby is celebrated by giving away these foods. They comprise of the yellow rice which is made of tumeric and glutinous rice, red eggs and the sweet cakes call ‘ang koo’ or red tortoise.
Red eggs are symbolic, meaning good fortune, completeness and a new beginning.
The above red sweet cake is made of glutinous rice flour or sticky rice flour and filled with mung bean paste. What you see is the shape of a peach. If you get a baby girl, you give two peach shape sweet cakes with the tortoise shape. If you get a baby boy, the peach is replaced with two round balls. Completely roundish balls with no patterns.
The tumeric rice goes with curry chicken. In olden times, the family with new babies will distribute these packages to all their neighbours and relatives. My late mother-in-law told me she made her own yellow rice, curry and eggs when she had my husband. Bless her for her efficiency! She lived up to the ripe old age of 70+ years old without any rheumatism or whatever illness.
Meanwhile, in this modern times, one can easily order these packages from shops specialised in providing baby full moon celebration gift packs. The whole package above costs RM12.50. (please do not ask me which shop because I don’t do promo)
I got this package from my niece who just had her baby. Normally, we reciprocate by giving an angpow to the baby. Angpow is a red packet filled with money.