A Time For New Beginnings

by Joe

New Beginnings in 2018


The end of December 2017 was a time of celebration for the entire Word 4 Asia family as one of our team members, Leo became a first-time father with the birth of a son (daughter)!  We’ve been celebrating for his family ever since.

Of course, there is always great happiness whenever a newborn comes into the world.  We even specially recognize the first born in every nation.  In China, the first birth of 2018 occurred in Hong Kong, just eight seconds into the new year.  Let’s all congratulate Imma Chan and Pan Cheung on the birth of their baby boy, Ka-lam!  He was one of three children born in the first minute of 2018.

Full Moon Celebration

The Chinese have some very interesting ways of celebrating the birth of children.  For instance, the “full-moon” or “full-month”, called “Man Yue” ( 满月 ) celebration coincides with the end of the new mother’s confinement period.  This is the time when the mother and the baby are formally introduced to the extended family and friends. Often, this is the first time that many of the guests are meeting the baby!  It is very customary to serve guests with traditional cakes and eggs, dyed red to symbolize good luck and fortune.  Eggs represent fertility and their shape symbolizes harmony.  When the baby is a boy, an odd number of eggs are given, if you have a girl, you give out an even number of eggs.   Also very common is the giving of plain round red glutinous peanut cakes ( 红糯米花生蛋糕 ).  In the event of a baby girl, these cakes are molded into the shapes of tortoises ( 龟壳状蝴蝶 ) considered more Intricate and delicate.

Naming Customs

The naming of the newborn is also steeped in tradition.  On the third day after the baby’s birth, the baby will be given a bath, and names will be given to the new born baby. There are two names for the baby, one is a nickname used before going to school, the other is the formal name. The name is very important to the baby, Chinese believe the name will determine the baby’s future. Historically, the paternal grandfather picks a suitable name. Some parents even consult a fortune teller to help them pick a prosperous name. These are the top five most popular Chinese baby names by gender:


Top 5 Most Popular Chinese Baby Names By Gender



张伟 Zhang Wei (Great)

王芳 Wang Fang (aromatic)

Wang Wei (Great)

王秀英 Wang Xiu Ying (elegant & brave)

Li Wei (Great)

李秀英 Li Xiu Ying (elegant & brave)

Liu Wei (Great)

李娜 Li Na (elegant)

Li Qiang (Strong)

张秀英 Zhang Xiu Ying (elegant & brave)

Gift Giving

The Chinese also have their own version of a Western baby shower; it is celebrated 30-days after the birth.  Red packets containing money, called hongbao or and jewelry for the baby, from relatives and friends. More recently, baby clothes, toys, books and gift vouchers are also gifted.

Another traditional gift is a lock-shaped pendant ( 长命锁 ), called a “longevity lock”.  This tradition can be traced back to the Ming and Qing Dynasty.  A ring, shaped like a lock, is hung from the baby’s’ neck to “secure” the baby’s grasp on life.

The locket is made of silver and sometimes also gold.


With a traditional view on preserving the safety and health of both the mother and the baby, a number of taboos have developed over centuries.   For example, pregnant mothers cannot attend wedding ceremonies or funerals, which are considered unlucky.  Neither can they eat rabbit (superstition says that eating mutton will result in the baby having the mouth of a rabbit – a cleft palate ( 兔唇 ).

In  Guangdong province, tradition belief holds that family members must not move furniture or drive nails into walls when there is a pregnant woman in the family.  In the case of the nails, the superstition holds that doing so can result in a miscarriage.

Food Rules

There are also certain dietary restrictions new mothers traditionally have followed.  For instance, no eating of raw fruit or vegetables, drinking hot coffee or cold drinks or even cold water.  Water must only be consumed warm or hot. The rationale is that following these food rules will help restore balance to the new mother’s body after childbirth.

Traditionally, new mothers were also fed a soup of pig’s feet and peanuts, or an oily carp soup, drunk directly after childbirth. The belief is that these foods will stimulate the production of mother’s milk.


Wishing You Well in 2018

Whether you are birthing a new child, or a new business, or just a new attitude in 2018, the entire ‘family’ at Word 4 Asia wishes you a very happy and successful year!



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