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Home History and Culture One-Month-Old Birthday and One-Year-Old Catch
One-Month-Old Birthday and One-Year-Old Catch
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

    One-Year-Old Catch
One-Month-Old Birthday

The One-Month-Old Birthday (mǎn yuè 满月) is a universal custom practiced by all ethnic groups of China. In a family where a baby is born, they will prepare several tables of feast on the baby's One-Month-Old Birthday and invite their friends and relatives to a ceremony to celebrate the occasion. In a traditional one-month-old ceremony, there will be a rejoicing and festive atmosphere in the family and the feast is supposed to be lively and joyful. Normally those joining the feast will bring some gift or a red envelope to show their regard.

On the day when the baby is one month old, grandmother sent clothes, food and the red paper containing money as gifts to the baby. The baby wears dog hat (gǒu tóu mào 狗头帽), tiger Tiger Shoesshoes (hǔ tóu xié 虎头鞋), which indicates that the baby will be lucky for the whole life.

One-Year-Old Catch (Zhuazhou)
One-Year-Old Catch (zhuā zhōu 抓周) is a tradition with a long history in China. It was recorded even when it was in Song Dynasty (sòng cháo 宋朝).

One-Year-Old Catch is usually held before eating the long-life noodles when it is on the day when a baby is one year old. The family will lay out sutras, brush pens, ink sticks, paper, ink slabs, abacus, copper coins, account books, jewelries, flowers, rouge, foods, toys, etc. For girls, scoops, scissors, rulers, thread, scissor-cut will be added. Then the parents put the baby in front of these articles and make it sit up. Nobody will give any instruction or cue to the baby so that it is left free to choose. Watching the baby catch the articles it likes, the family can then make predictions about its potential interests, future career and development.

满月
      小孩儿出生满一个月的那天,孩子的家人一般都要招呼亲朋挚友,邀请他们一起来庆祝孩子满月。按咋好哦中国的传统, 这一天,家里会充满了喜庆和节日的氛围,满月酒要办得热热闹闹才行。

      满月日,外婆家要送衣物、食品和彩线(长寿线)扎成的装有钱币的红包,并挂红包于婴儿胸前,谓铜钿牌。亲戚朋友亦送钱币志贺。家内设祭享神祀祖,摆筵招待宾客。婴儿要剃满月头,戴狗头帽,穿一口钟、虎头鞋,由长辈托着,撑着凉伞,串街走巷兜一圈,邻人互抱相看。

      吃红蛋。小孩满月请酒,也叫吃满月蛋,属民间喜庆宴席之一,家里要接客,亲戚需赶情。这种喜酒与其它宴席不同的是,凡坐席吃酒的宾客东家都发四个煮熟染色的红鸡蛋,人们带回去做礼品。后来,也有的人家做满月将鸡蛋不煮熟,只将生鸡蛋染上红色就行了。

抓周
One-Year-Old Catch      小孩儿满周岁行“抓周”礼的风俗,在民间流传已久。宋•吴自牧《梦梁录•育子》载:“其家罗列锦席于中堂,烧香秉烛,金银七宝玩具、文房书籍、道释经卷、秤尺刀剪、升斗戥子、彩缎花朵、官楮钱陌、女工针线、应用物件、并儿戏物,却置得周小儿于中座,观其先拈者何物,以为佳谶。宋•孟元老《东京梦华录•育子》谓此为“小孩之盛礼”。清末民初,北京民间仍然盛行这种小儿“抓周儿”礼。虽然,小儿周岁并不搭棚办酒席,也不下帖请客,但凡近亲们都不约而同地循例往贺,聚会一番。

     “抓周儿”的仪式一般都在吃中午那顿“长寿面”之前进行。讲究一些的富户都要在床(炕)前陈设大案,上摆:印章、儒、释、道三教的经书,笔、墨、纸、砚、算盘、钱币、帐册、首饰、花朵、胭脂、吃食、玩具,如是女孩“抓周儿”还要加摆:铲子、勺子(炊具)、剪子、尺子(缝纫用具)、绣线、花样子(刺绣用具)等等。一般人家,限于经济条件,多予简化,仅用一铜茶盘,内放私塾启蒙课本:《三字经》或《千字文》一本,毛笔一枝、算盘一个、烧饼油果一套。女孩加摆:铲子、剪子、尺子各一把。由大人将小孩抱来,令其端坐,不予任何诱导,任其挑选,视其先抓何物,后抓何物。以此来测卜其志趣、前途和将要从事的职业。
 

 

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