1st Month/Full Month Celebration
"Mua Guek", which means "Full Moon" (滿月, which literally means "Full Moon"), signifies the new born baby’s attainment of a full month's survival in good health, which calls for a celebration.
In Chinese culture, proud parents introduce their new born baby by holding a celebration during the baby's first month birthday. Traditionally, the baby's name is also announced at this time.
Dyed red eggs are an integral part of the full month celebration as it symbolizes happiness and the renewal of life, as well as announce the arrival of a newborn baby. Parents may also use the brightly colored eggs to announce the sex of the baby; an even number of eggs are sent out for a boy, and an odd number to announce a baby girl.
In recent years, however, some of the traditions surrounding the custom of passing out red-dyed eggs have been modified. Nowadays, in modern Singapore, the more hip parents give out chocolates or soft toys instead.
Ang Ku Kueh (“Red Turtle Cakes”)
The dough of the "red turtle cake" is dyed red for good luck. This kueh also signifies longevity as turtles have long lives. Thus, the “ang ku kueh” is made to resemble a turtle's back.
In the olden days, the design on top of the “ang ku kueh” will signify the sex of the child. A turtle and two marbles is the sign for a boy while a girl is represented by two peaches and Red Eggs. Nowadays, to simplify things, a ‘pointed’ “ang ku kueh” signifies a boy while a ‘flat’ one a girl.
In Singapore, the Chinese prepare a glutinous rice dish to distribute along with the red eggs. Different dialect groups have different ways of making this dish. The Teochew version is sweet and steamed while the Hokkien version is savoury and fragrant, cooked with fatty pork, dried shrimp, Chinese mushroom, dark soy sauce, and fried shallots.
The peanut candy is also another delectable ‘sweet’ distributed along with the full month gifts. It signifies all things sweet and happiness in the birth of the new born baby.