Throwing a traditional Chinese birthday party could make someone with Chinese ties and heritage feel right at home. If you want to plan a special Chinese birthday party surprise for someone, impress him or her with how much you know about Chinese birthday traditions. Although you may not be able to do the traditions exactly, you could try something reminiscent of the traditions to show the effort you’ve put into throwing a Chinese birthday party.
Traditionally, a Chinese birthday party is the celebration of a long life and well wishes for even more life. Offer an authentic menu of noodles and dumplings to your guests to signify well wishes for the person they are honoring. Food that is served at a Chinese birthday party include “long life noodles,” which are very long noodles that are steamed and served with dumplings that have a sweet filling. Be careful not to accidentally cut the noodles while serving, as short noodles are said to be bad luck at a birthday party. These noodles can also be served with egg, which is seen as a “rich” food. The noodles, eggs and dumplings are eaten by all in attendance in support of the well wishes for the person they are celebrating.
In celebration of a baby’s birth, the father of the child will give red-dyed eggs to his family members and friends. Red is the color of good luck. He’ll give an even number amount of eggs if he had a girl and odd numbers for a boy. In the Chinese culture, birthdays are celebrated mostly at the beginning of a child’s life. Moon-yut is a party for the 1-month-old child and a padlock or a piece of jewelry featuring a lock is given to the child to signify the child being locked into the family. Money is also given in red envelopes for good luck. You could use these gifts as ideas for your own Chinese birthday party by offering red-dyed eggs to your guests and giving a charm bracelet with a lock and key charm to the birthday girl. However, never give a watch or other timekeeping device, as it is a sign of bad luck and indicates one seeking death.
There are some traditions practiced at a birthday that help a family tell the future of the child. Various items signifying different professions will be placed around the child, such as money, a pen or a book. The the family watches the child to see what he or she touches first. This is a rite of passage done at birthday parties to entertain the guests and to predict the path the child will travel on. You can incorporate this tradition as part of your birthday party by wordlessly placing items in front of guests and then predicting their futures by what item they touch first.
And please don’t forget wear the Chinese tradional dresses to attend the party!