What Is A Chinese Lunar Birthday? (55 Answers)

A Chinese birthday is a celebration of a person’s life according to the Chinese lunar calendar. It is a significant event in Chinese culture, and it is believed that one’s birthday determines their fate, personality, and future.

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what does Chinese birthday mean?

The Meaning of Celebrating Birthdays:

  • To celebrate the continuation and prosperity of life.
  • To express gratitude to the mother who gave life. During the Sui, Tang, and Five Dynasties periods in northern China, celebrating birthdays was mainly based on Confucian filial piety, with serious and formal ceremonies being the norm, often with a mournful tone. According to historical records, Emperor Taizong of Tang and Emperor Gaozu of Later Han during the Five Dynasties period both insisted on not celebrating birthdays, which were more like commemorative ceremonies. However, the tradition of celebrating birthdays annually has quietly spread in some areas of southern China.
  • To dispel disasters and ward off evil. As we all know, a birthday accompanies the whole process of life, witnessing the crying sound of a life coming into the world, and recording the traces of time passing by. Everyone has a special emotional attachment to their birthday.

Celebrating a birthday has a certain commemorative value. Before turning 18, there are three main birthdays that are celebrated: the first birthday, the tenth birthday, and the eighteenth birthday. These three birthdays are usually celebrated with more solemnity by the family. Other birthdays can be simplified.

Celebrating a birthday can also promote family harmony, reflect the overall external communication ability of the family, and provide insight into the construction of life style, values, and life taste. This can serve as an opportunity for family members and friends to hold a party. The joyous atmosphere and beautiful decorations can help strengthen and enhance the affection and friendship between them.

No matter if it’s a boy or a girl, when the first child is born, red paper cutouts with the shape of a gourd for a boy or a flower for a girl must be posted in front of the door or on the main road for three days to share the good news. Relatives, friends, and neighbors will come with gifts such as red sugar, eggs, and special noodles to offer their congratulations, which is called “sending soup.” Three days later, the mother-in-law will bring rice, noodles, eggs, and a crib to help take care of the baby for one month, which is known as “sitting the month.” At the end of the month, family and friends are invited to a celebration with food, gifts, and toys for the baby, known as “full moon.” The groom’s family must also give a piece of clothing to the mother-in-law, and the bride’s family will send white bread as a thank you gift, which is called “collecting the month.”

When the baby turns 100 days old, wealthy families or those with a particularly cherished male child will host another celebration to wish the child a long life, which is called “passing 100 years.” When the child reaches one year old, family members will invite guests over for a celebration with oil cake and flour soup, which symbolizes “rising high” and “longevity.” From then on, every year on the child’s birthday, the family will improve their lives, known as “celebrating their birthday.”

When a person turns 50, 60, 70, or 80 years old, their children and grandchildren will send out invitations to friends and family for a grand celebration called “wishing them a long life.” Guests will bring gifts and eat “longevity peaches,” which are shaped like a peach, and in some families, they will also hire drummers, monks, and Taoist priests to perform a ritual known as “returning longevity gold” to ensure a healthy and long life without any debts to be repaid in the afterlife.

Overall, celebrating a birthday can deepen and strengthen the bond between family members and friends, and it is a meaningful and enjoyable way to mark the passage of time.

birthday in Chinese history

Birthdays have been celebrated in Chinese history, but their importance and the way they were celebrated have varied over time.

During the ancient times, birthdays were not widely celebrated in China. The concept of celebrating birthdays as a way to mark the passage of time and celebrate life was not prevalent. However, during the Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE), the emperor’s birthday was celebrated with grand ceremonies, including offerings to heaven and earth, and the bestowing of imperial favors on officials and citizens.

In the Tang dynasty (618-907 CE), the celebration of birthdays became more common among the common people, but it was still not as prevalent as it is in modern times. During the Tang dynasty, it was customary for people to celebrate their 60th birthday as a milestone, as it was believed that reaching this age was a sign of longevity and a life well-lived.

During the Song dynasty (960-1279 CE), the celebration of birthdays became more widespread among the general population. It was during this time that the tradition of eating long noodles on one’s birthday began, symbolizing longevity and good fortune.

In more recent times, the celebration of birthdays in China has become much more common, with both traditional and Western-style celebrations. However, traditional birthday celebrations in China still involve customs such as serving noodles and dumplings, giving red envelopes filled with money as gifts, and lighting candles to symbolize the number of years being celebrated.

Overall, while the celebration of birthdays in China has evolved over time, it has always been a way to mark the passage of time and celebrate life, both among the ruling elite and the general population.

birthday in ancient china

In ancient China, birthday, also known as “birth date” or “date of birth”, was celebrated with special significance at three ages: one year old, ten years old, and eighteen years old. Other birthdays were usually simplified. Celebrating birthdays could promote family harmony, reflect the family’s ability to interact with others, and provide insight into one’s lifestyle, values, and taste. Birthday celebrations were an opportunity for family and friends to gather and enjoy each other’s company, strengthening their relationships.

In ancient times, there were no birthday or birthday celebration customs before the Northern and Southern Dynasties. The custom of celebrating birthdays began to take shape in the Southern and Northern Dynasties, with the “child-testing” custom. However, on one’s birthday, it was customary to mourn for the parents who had given birth and to refrain from celebrating with feasting and merriment.

In ancient times, there were only two situations in which people celebrated birthdays: when both parents were still alive, a feast was held on the birthday, but if one’s parents had passed away, birthdays were no longer celebrated. However, in the case of the “uneducated,” or the common people, even after the death of their parents, they still held feasts to celebrate their birthdays.

The custom of celebrating birthdays as a festive occasion originated in the southern region of China, and the Confucian-based central region was quite opposed to this custom. According to historical records, Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty insisted on not celebrating his birthday, advocating for reflection and introspection instead. This shows that even under the conditions of the Sui and Tang Dynasties, when the custom of birthday celebration had spread throughout the country from Jiangnan, many people still upheld the traditional way of not celebrating birthdays.

However, Taizong’s successors did not share his view. According to Qian Daxin’s Ten Jiazhai Yangxinlu, it was during the mid-Tang Dynasty that feudal emperors began to hold large-scale birthday celebrations. In 729 AD, Emperor Xuanzong held a banquet for his officials to celebrate his birthday, after which the prime ministers Yuan Qianyao and Zhang Shuo requested that August 5th, Xuanzong’s birthday, be declared the “Thousand Autumns Festival”.

Since the Tang dynasty, the emperors not only celebrated their own birthdays, but also gave them special names. For example, Tang Suzong’s birthday was called “Tiancheng-Diping Festival”, Tang Wuzong’s birthday was called “Qingyang Festival”, Tang Xuanzong’s birthday was called “Shouchang Festival”, and Tang Zhaozong’s birthday was called “Jiahui Festival”, among others.

Starting from Tang Xuanzong, during the emperor’s birthday, the entire country would take a three-day break to hold celebratory activities, with “the court and the common people celebrating together”. In the capital city, the courtiers would offer birthday congratulations to the emperor, presenting him with sweet dew, strong alcohol, and “long live birthday wine”. The various provincial governors would offer a large number of precious treasures in order to win the emperor’s favor. Officials and common people outside the capital city would also hold birthday banquets to celebrate the emperor’s birthday.

Due to the advocacy of feudal emperors, this practice became widespread throughout the bureaucracy, with officials at all levels using the occasion of birthday gifts to cultivate relationships and exchange favors. Li Xinchuan’s “Jianyan Era Series Annals” from the Southern Song dynasty records that during the period when the traitorous minister Qin Hui was in power, “people from all over would present him with gifts on his birthday. Subsequently, the officials at the provincial and county levels also began accepting these gifts, to the point of extreme extravagance.” In 1156, in order to curb this extravagant practice, Emperor Gaozong of the Song dynasty issued a decree banning officials from receiving birthday gifts while in office. However, according to various historical records, this ban did not have much effect, and the practice of giving birthday gifts continued to flourish.

In addition to giving gifts on birthdays during the Song dynasty, there was also a custom of presenting birthday poetry: the great literary figure Su Shi has several poems in his “Complete Works of Dongpo” that congratulate people on their birthdays, such as “Birthday Poem for My Cousin Cheng Deyu”. When his mother turned 60 years old, the Southern Song philosopher Zhu Xi wrote a birthday poem called “Birthday Poem for My Mother”, which led to the widespread practice of birthday congratulations among the common people.

On the day of the birthday celebration, a birthday hall would be set up, with auspicious couplets and birthday pictures hung up and a feast prepared to celebrate. The couplets would say things like “May you live as long as the southern pine, and have as much good fortune as the ever-flowing waters of the eastern sea.” The birthday pictures included “Birthday Portrait”, “Queen Mother’s Birthday Offering”, “Eight Immortals Celebrating Birthday”, “Magu’s Birthday Offering”, and so on. Magu is a legendary long-lived female fairy.

Soup buns and peach-shaped longevity buns are essential at birthday banquets. Soup buns refer to noodles, and the birthday noodles are called “longevity noodles.” The custom of eating noodles on birthdays prevailed during the Tang Dynasty. Liu Yuxi, a Tang Dynasty poet, wrote in his poem “To Zhang Guan, the Jinshi”: “Remembering your days of solitude, I was a guest at your table, lifting my tendons to eat soup buns, adding auspicious words to the occasion.” Wang Mingqing of the Southern Song Dynasty wrote in his book “Precedents Recorded with a Flourish”: “It is customary to eat soup buns on birthdays, which are called ‘longevity noodles’ by the world.” Therefore, people who went to celebrate birthdays in the Tang Dynasty also called themselves “soup bun guests.” Birthday soup buns symbolize longevity, and they are naturally indispensable on birthdays.

when did the Chinese start celebrate birthdays?

The custom of celebrating birthdays can be traced back to the Han Dynasty. At that time, people already attached great importance to birthdays, but the purpose was different from today’s. People celebrated birthdays in order to express gratitude to their parents, rather than simply celebrating themselves. During the Han Dynasty, grand parties were held to celebrate birthdays, but these gatherings were for the parents, and the birthday person had to express gratitude to their parents. Therefore, those who had lost both parents were not allowed to drink and make merry at their own birthday parties. In fact, they were not even allowed to celebrate their birthdays, and anyone who violated this rule would be punished accordingly.

During the Han Dynasty, people were accustomed to celebrating a “shou” (寿) every ten years. This meant that they would celebrate their birthday once every ten years, starting from birth until the age of ten. However, between the ages of ten and forty, they were not allowed to celebrate their birthday because the age of forty was considered unlucky and could bring disaster. If they made it past the age of forty, then they could celebrate their birthday every ten years. The reason for celebrating every ten years was that it represented a new cycle for the Han Dynasty people.

Birthdays in chinese culture

Birthday celebrations have been an important part of Chinese culture since ancient times. In ancient China, people celebrated their birthdays as a way to express gratitude to their parents, rather than for personal gratification. During the Han Dynasty, people would have grand celebrations for their parents on their birthdays as a way of showing their appreciation.

The Chinese traditionally celebrate birthdays in a number of ways, including with food, gifts, and good wishes. Certain foods are commonly served at birthdays, such as noodles, which represent long life, and dumplings, which symbolize wealth and prosperity. Red is also a popular color for birthday celebrations, as it is believed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits.

In Chinese culture, there are certain ages that are considered to be especially important. For example, the 60th birthday is known as the “Diamond Birthday” and is celebrated with a big party, as it marks a milestone in a person’s life. Additionally, the 70th, 80th, and 90th birthdays are also important, and are often celebrated with family and friends.

Overall, birthdays are seen as an opportunity to express gratitude, honor the elderly, and bring good fortune to the celebrant.

birthday in Taoism

Taoism is a unique religion that originated in China and is the only religion that is indigenous to China and has survived to this day. It has a history of at least 1800 years and is closely linked to Chinese culture, deeply rooted in the fertile soil of China, and has distinctive Chinese cultural characteristics.

Taoism worships Laozi as its founder, known as “Taishang Laojun,” and the main classic is the “Tao Te Ching.” Today, Taoism is mainly divided into two major schools: Quanzhen School and Zhengyi School.

Under the influence of Buddhism, Chinese people have accepted the culture of birthday celebrations, and Taoism has also absorbed this cultural factor. After the Tang and Song dynasties, Taoism arranged birthdays for gods and goddesses such as Laozi, Jade Emperor, and Queen Mother, and these “birthdays” have become important festivals in Taoism. The traditional festivals include Laojun’s birthday, the Emperor’s birthday, and Lü Dongbin’s birthday. Laojun’s birthday is the birthday of the founder of Taoism, Laozi, who is said to have been born with great strength on the tenth day of the second month of the lunar calendar. It is believed that on this day, believers will hold Taoist ceremonies to commemorate him.

The birthday of the Jade Emperor is said to be on the ninth day of the first lunar month of the year of Bingwu, and later Taoist temples commemorate him on this day. Lü Dongbin’s birthday is the birthday of Lü Dongbin, a legendary Taoist immortal who is said to have been born from a white crane on the fourteenth day of the fourth lunar month of the 14th year of the Tang Dynasty. Taoist believers often hold fasting and prayers on this day to commemorate him.

In addition, the annual March 3rd festival is to commemorate the peach banquet hosted by the Queen Mother of the West, and March 15th is Zhang Tianshi’s birthday. December 22nd is Wang Chongyang’s birthday, and December 21st is the birthday of Yuan Shi Tianzun. Taoist believers usually celebrate the birthdays of these important religious figures on their respective birthdays.

birthday in Buddhism

Buddhist culture places great importance on birthdates, with many Buddhist holidays being the birthdays of various Buddhas and bodhisattvas. For example, the most important Buddhist holiday in China, the Buddha’s Birthday, falls on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month, which is the day of Shakyamuni Buddha’s birth. Other Buddhist birthdays include the birthday of Maitreya Bodhisattva on the second day of the first lunar month, the birthday of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva on the nineteenth day of the second lunar month, the birthday of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva on the twenty-first day of the second lunar month, the birthday of Kshitigarbha Bodhisattva on the thirteenth day of the seventh lunar month, the birthday of Bhaisajyaguru Buddha on the third day of the ninth lunar month, and the birthday of Amitabha Buddha on the seventeenth day of the eleventh lunar month.

The custom of bathing the Buddha on his birthday was prevalent as early as the Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern dynasties. After the Tang and Song dynasties, Buddhist holidays like the Buddha’s Birthday became rapidly secularized and gradually became a traditional holiday.

The popularity of these Buddhist birthday holidays undoubtedly had a great influence on the lives and even the thoughts of the Chinese people. Ancient people may have thought, “The Buddha’s birthday is on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month. When is my birthday?” “Can I also have some special ceremonies on my birthday like bathing the Buddha or making an image?” This kind of thinking may have promoted the widespread acceptance of the custom of celebrating birthdays among the Chinese people. After Emperor Xuanzong of Tang Dynasty emulated the Buddha and bodhisattvas, making his own birthday a holiday, the recognition of this new custom of “birthday” among the masses was unstoppable.

Another possibility is that during the Wei and Jin periods, with the introduction of numerical and stem-branch calendrical systems, a folk custom of celebrating birthdays spontaneously emerged. This custom then influenced Buddhism, as people used the historical calendar to calculate the birthdate of the Buddha and celebrate it solemnly. Nevertheless, the role of Buddhism in promoting the prevalence of Chinese birthday culture is beyond doubt.

However, from a global perspective, various Buddhist scriptures do not have consistent records of the Buddha’s birthdate, and the spread of the birthdate in different regions is not the same. The calendrical methods used by Buddhist believers in different countries to calculate the birthdate of the Buddha are also different. Therefore, in many countries, the date of the commemoration of the Buddha’s birthday is not the same as that of Chinese believers.

Many Buddhist scriptures record that the birth, enlightenment, and parinirvana of the Buddha all occurred during the full moon in May. Therefore, in South Asia and Southeast Asia, the full moon day of May is commonly designated as “Vesak Day,” a public holiday for solemnly commemorating the Buddha’s birth. Vesak Day usually falls before the fifteenth day of the fourth lunar month.

Buddhist believers also celebrate the birthdays of their elderly family members and children. On the day of their birthday, they offer blessings, prayers, and recitations to their loved ones.

birthday in Confucianism

In fact, ancient Chinese people referred to their birthdays as “father’s sorrow and mother’s hardship day”. Therefore, the earliest celebration of birthdays was not to celebrate one’s own birth, but to express gratitude for the parents’ nurturing. For example, on his birthday, Tang Taizong Li Shimin felt very sad because his parents had already passed away. He said to his ministers, “Today is my birthday. People usually celebrate it with joy, but I turn my feelings into gratitude. I reign over the world and have wealth from the four seas, but I can never obtain the love and care of my parents.”

Filial piety is one of the core concepts of Confucianism. The Classic of Filial Piety, promoted by Confucianism, was widely recognized, and ancient rulers even established a set of laws based on filial piety. In ancient times, if a junior insulted a senior, the local customary law would judge the case. If children beat their parents, they would be punished by the official law and could be sentenced to death. For example, if parents died, their children would have to observe a three-year mourning period, and officials would have to resign from their posts during this period and resume their posts after the mourning period. All of these customs and laws show the importance of filial piety in ancient China. Filial piety in Confucianism played a significant role in maintaining social stability and order in Chinese cultural thought.

birthday in Feng Shui

In Feng Shui, birthdays are considered an important factor in determining a person’s destiny and luck. According to Feng Shui principles, the energy and alignment of the stars and planets at the time of a person’s birth can influence their character traits, strengths, and weaknesses, as well as their future prospects and luck.

Feng Shui practitioners believe that a person’s BaZi, or Eight Characters, can be determined based on their birth date and time. The BaZi consists of four pairs of characters, each representing a different aspect of a person’s life, including their personality, career, health, and relationships. By analyzing a person’s BaZi, a Feng Shui practitioner can identify areas of strength and weakness in their life and provide recommendations on how to improve their luck and fortune.

In addition, Feng Shui also emphasizes the importance of celebrating birthdays and conducting rituals on one’s birthday to attract positive energy and good luck. For example, it is common practice to light candles or incense, offer fruits and sweets, and recite prayers or mantras on one’s birthday to enhance positive energy and ward off negative influences.

Birthday Feng Shui:

Age and Candles:

When using candles for a birthday celebration, the number of candles should correspond to the age of the host. From one to ten years old, the corresponding number of candles can be used. After ten years old, one big red candle represents ten years, and one small red candle represents one year. After turning forty years old, it is recommended to celebrate birthdays every ten years to avoid disturbing the afterlife. The number of big red candles should correspond to the host’s age.

Avoid the Number Four:

In Feng Shui, the number four is considered unlucky. If candles with a quantity ending in four are used in the birthday celebration, it may affect the auspiciousness of the event, as well as the host’s health and luck. To avoid this, ancient people would use the number five instead of four. For example, at the age of thirty-four, a birthday celebration for a thirty-five-year-old can be held with three big red candles and five small red candles.

Use the Number Nine:

In both numerology and Feng Shui, the number nine is considered the largest and most powerful number. However, after reaching the peak, things tend to decline. Therefore, when celebrating an elderly person’s birthday, it is recommended to use the number nine. For example, if a person is celebrating their 70th birthday, it is best to hold the celebration when they are 69 years old to take advantage of the strongest Feng Shui and luck.

Stay Close to Home:

In Feng Shui, it is not recommended to leave the house on one’s birthday. If it is necessary to leave the house, avoid mountain climbing, being close to water sources, or walking alone in deserted areas. Also, it is advisable to avoid construction sites and accident-prone areas. Swimming should also be avoided. Therefore, it is best to stay home on one’s birthday to avoid accidents.

Overall, Feng Shui considers birthdays to be an important factor in a person’s destiny and luck, and offers various practices and recommendations for improving one’s fortunes on their special day.

birthday in yin and yang

In Chinese culture, yin and yang represent the dualistic nature of the universe. Yin is associated with darkness, passivity, and feminine qualities, while yang is associated with light, activity, and masculine qualities.

In terms of birthdays, it is believed that the day you were born has a certain yin and yang balance that can affect your personality and destiny. This is determined by the combination of the Heavenly Stem and Earthly Branch in the Chinese zodiac calendar.

For example, people born in the year of the Rat (子) are said to have a yang personality, while people born in the year of the Ox (丑) are said to have a yin personality. In addition, there are certain auspicious and inauspicious days for different zodiac signs to celebrate their birthdays based on the yin and yang balance of the day.

Furthermore, the time of day you were born also has a yin and yang element. People born during the day are believed to have a yang element, while people born at night are believed to have a yin element.

Overall, yin and yang play an important role in understanding the significance of birthdays in Chinese culture, as it is believed that the balance of yin and yang in one’s birth date can influence their personality and destiny.

birthday in five elements

In traditional Chinese culture, the concept of the Five Elements, also known as Wu Xing, is an important aspect of understanding the world and its workings. The Five Elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water, and each element is associated with different attributes, such as colors, seasons, and emotions.

In Chinese astrology and fortune-telling, a person’s birth year, month, day, and time are believed to be influenced by the Five Elements, which can have a significant impact on their personality, relationships, and overall fortune. Here are the associations between birthdays and the Five Elements:

Wood: People born in the spring season (February to April) are considered to be influenced by the Wood element. They are often creative, innovative, and have a strong sense of justice.

Fire: People born in the summer season (May to July) are believed to be influenced by the Fire element. They are often passionate, energetic, and ambitious.

Earth: People born in the transitional seasons (August to October) are considered to be influenced by the Earth element. They are often practical, reliable, and grounded.

Metal: People born in the autumn season (November to January) are believed to be influenced by the Metal element. They are often independent, determined, and precise.

Water: In addition to the season, a person’s birth time also influences their element. People born during the nighttime are considered to be influenced by the Water element, which is associated with intuition, sensitivity, and adaptability.

Understanding your birthday element can help you gain insights into your personality traits, strengths, and weaknesses. It can also provide guidance on how to balance your energy and navigate challenges in life.

why do Chinese have two birthdays?

Traditionally, most Chinese people celebrate their lunar birthdays, similar to other traditional holidays such as Chinese New Year. However, nowadays, many people (especially in workplaces) prefer to use the Gregorian calendar for its relative stability and ease of scheduling, and thus celebrate their solar birthdays as the main occasion for gift-giving and celebration.

If someone’s birthday is celebrated according to the lunar calendar, and there happens to be a leap month in that year, then there will be two months with the same name, and the person may celebrate three birthdays in that year. In China, birthdays are usually considered an important occasion for family gatherings, particularly for elderly family members. In the past, only children and the elderly celebrated their birthdays, but with cultural exchange, many Chinese people have adopted a more westernized view of birthdays.

why are Chinese birthdays different?

Chinese birthdays are different from Western birthdays because the traditional Chinese calendar is a lunar calendar, which is based on the phases of the moon. The lunar calendar has 12 months of 29 or 30 days each, which adds up to only 354 days in a year. To make up for the shortfall, a leap month is added every two or three years. This means that the Chinese New Year, which is the most important festival in the Chinese calendar, can fall anywhere between late January and mid-February in the Gregorian calendar used in the West.

As a result, Chinese people celebrate their birthdays based on the lunar calendar, which can fall on different dates each year in the Gregorian calendar. In addition, there are different customs and beliefs associated with Chinese birthdays, such as the importance of the five elements and yin and yang balance. Chinese people may also celebrate their “real” or “traditional” birthday, which is based on the lunar calendar, as well as their “official” or “Western” birthday, which is based on the Gregorian calendar.

do Chinese birthdays change every year?

Chinese people traditionally use the lunar calendar to define their birthdays. For thousands of years, the Chinese method of recording birthdays has been different from that of the Western world. In China, a person’s new age starts on the first day of the lunar new year, which is usually after the Chinese New Year’s Eve. Therefore, everyone adds one year to their age after the Chinese New Year. Although there are two ways to celebrate a birthday in China – the lunar calendar and the Gregorian calendar – people usually prefer the lunar calendar.

Since the Republic of China, everyone can have two birthdays, one lunar and one Gregorian. Because the Chinese lunar calendar is a revised lunar calendar related to the moon’s revolution cycle, the Gregorian date corresponding to each lunar birthday is different each year.

In general, a person’s 19th, 38th, 57th, 76th, and 95th birthdays will have some Gregorian and lunar dates that coincide with their birth year, but not everyone’s 19th birthday will be on the same day in both calendars, and it may never coincide in their lifetime.

Unlike the lunar calendar, the Gregorian calendar is based on the Earth’s revolution around the Sun. The length of a year is determined by the Earth’s orbital period, and the length of a month is then determined. This results in 28, 29, 30, or 31 days in a month, and the order of the months with 31 days is sometimes irregular. The inconsistency between the two calendars causes the Gregorian birthday to change every year.

In summary, the Chinese lunar calendar has 12 months in a year, with a total of 354 or 355 days, which is 11 days different from the tropical year. Additionally, there is a leap month every four years, which means that some years have 13 months.

what does lunar birthday mean?

Lunar birthday refers to the celebration of one’s birthday according to the traditional lunar calendar, also known as the Chinese calendar. The lunar calendar is based on the cycles of the moon, with each month starting on the day of a new moon and lasting for 29 or 30 days.

In many Asian cultures, including China, Korea, and Vietnam, lunar birthdays are still widely celebrated alongside or instead of birthdays on the Gregorian calendar. Lunar birthdays may have different customs and traditions associated with them, and often have different meanings and implications for the individual’s life path and fortune.

when is my Chinese birthday?

To determine your Chinese birthday, you would need to know your birth year, month, day, and the time of day you were born. The Chinese lunar calendar is used to calculate birthdays, and it is based on the phases of the moon.

If you don’t know your lunar birth date, you can use an online Chinese lunar calendar converter. You can input your birth year, month, day, and time to find out your lunar birthday. Keep in mind that your lunar birthday may fall on a different date each year according to the Gregorian calendar used in Western countries.

when do Chinese celebrate birthdays?

Traditionally, Chinese people celebrate birthdays on the day of their lunar calendar birthday. However, nowadays many Chinese also celebrate their Gregorian calendar birthday as well. In China, celebrating birthdays is often seen as a family affair and is especially important for older generations. It is common for families to gather and have a meal together to celebrate the occasion. Additionally, some milestones such as a person’s 60th or 80th birthday are considered particularly important and may be celebrated on a larger scale.

Birthdays are celebrated from 12:00 am on the day before to 12:00 am on the actual day, which is considered the first day of being one year older. In Chinese culture, birthdays become more important as a person grows older. Celebrating the birthday on the actual day is considered the most appropriate time, regardless of the specific time of day. It is considered auspicious to celebrate one’s birthday, but it is not recommended to celebrate it early or postpone it.

Traditionally, people celebrate birthdays by eating cake and blowing out candles. However, the definition of a birthday can vary depending on the region, with some using the lunar calendar and others using the solar calendar. In some cases, people even celebrate their birthday twice a year.

Delaying a birthday celebration is considered unlucky in Chinese culture. While it is possible to celebrate a birthday a few days earlier due to scheduling conflicts, postponing a birthday is seen as something that is done for the deceased. It is believed to have an adverse effect on one’s luck.

what are Chinese birthday traditions?

  1. Eating eggs and peeling the eggshell represents opening up the past, transforming oneself, and signifies the beginning of a new life. Eating longevity noodles involves placing the noodles into a bowl without breaking them, and the longer the noodles are pulled, the longer the person’s life is believed to be. In the West, young people celebrate with cake and candles. Birthdays are essentially commemorative days, commemorating the day a person came into this world.
  • China has different names for people of different ages: “Thirty is the time to stand on one’s own feet”, “Forty is when confusion fades”, “Fifty is when one understands destiny”, “Sixty is when one becomes a senior citizen”, “Seventy is when one has reached old age”, and “Eighty is when one is elderly”. The 60th birthday is the most important and festive celebration. There is a saying that men should celebrate their 9th birthday and women their 10th.
  • A birthday is the day a person was born, and in China, it is particularly important to celebrate the birthdays of the elderly and children. Every year, a birthday is a family gathering, so a birthday can be seen as a family holiday in China.
  • Birthdays are not celebrated during the Ghost Month: Those born in the lunar month of July, especially on the 15th, the birthday of the Ghost King, do not celebrate their birthday.

how Chinese celebrate birthdays?

In China, birthdays are important occasions that are often celebrated with family and friends. Here are some common ways that Chinese people celebrate birthdays:

Eating Birthday Noodles: In some regions of China, it is traditional to eat a long strand of noodles, called “birthday noodles,” to symbolize long life and good fortune.

Eating a Special Birthday Meal: Similar to Western culture, many Chinese families will prepare a special meal for the birthday person, often featuring the person’s favorite dishes.

Giving Birthday Red Envelopes: It is common for family and friends to give the birthday person a red envelope filled with money as a gift.

Lighting Birthday Candles: Just like in many other cultures, Chinese people also light birthday candles on a cake or other dessert to celebrate the person’s birthday.

Singing Birthday Songs: Chinese people also sing “Happy Birthday” songs, either in Chinese or in English, to celebrate the person’s special day.

Holding a Birthday Party: For children and young adults, birthday parties are becoming increasingly popular in China. These parties often include games, decorations, and lots of food.

Overall, birthdays in China are a time to celebrate the person’s life and to wish them happiness and good fortune in the year ahead.

which birthdays are considered important in China?

There are several birthdays that are considered important in Chinese culture and may vary depending on the individual. However, here are some of the more important ones:

One Month Birthday (Full Moon): The one month birthday is an important tradition in Chinese culture that marks the end of the first month after a baby’s birth. It is typically celebrated with a feast, ancestor worship, and blessings for the baby.

Annual Birthday: The annual birthday is celebrated each year to mark the passing of another year of life. It is typically celebrated with cake, fireworks, gifts, and well-wishes for the upcoming year.

Five, Ten, and Sixteen Years Old: These ages are considered important milestones in Chinese culture, marking different stages of childhood, youth, and adulthood. They are typically celebrated with special gifts and symbolic significance.

Sixty, Seventy, Eighty, and Ninety Years Old: These ages are considered important milestones in Chinese culture, marking the celebration of a long and fulfilling life. They are typically celebrated with well-wishes, blessings, and significant family gatherings to celebrate longevity, health, and happiness.

Chinese newborn baby traditions

The birth ceremony is one of the traditional customs in China, often held three days after a child’s birth. Different regions and ethnic groups have different forms, but generally, it involves blessings, health care, divination, and other layers of meaning from the baptism of the newborn to the one-year-old birthday celebration. The narrow definition of the birth ceremony refers to the gift box used to celebrate the birth, which is usually prepared by the newborn’s family to distribute to relatives and friends at the banquet. Each gift box contains lucky eggs, cakes, candies, etc., and invited guests may also give gifts of varying weights and sizes, mostly baby products and maternal nutrition.

The traditional birth ceremony of the Han nationality consists of several ceremonies: the birth ceremony when the baby is born, the three-morning ceremony three days later, the full-moon ceremony when the baby is one month old, the hundred-day ceremony when the baby is one hundred days old, and the one-year-old ceremony. In this way, the process of welcoming a new life is considered complete.

The traditional birth ceremony of the Han nationality has different styles and expressions due to regional differences, but overall, it mostly includes the five main ceremonies of birth, three-morning, full-moon, hundred-day, and one-year-old, and the specific expressions are basically similar. The main customs of the traditional birth ceremony are:

Birth Ceremony

For boys, a jade ornament called “nongzhang” is given, and for girls, a pottery ornament called “nongwa” is given. This reflects the gender bias and male dominance in ancient Chinese society.

For boys, a bow is hung on the left side of the room, and for girls, a decorative cloth is hung on the right side of the room.

Naming Ceremony: Adults give a name to the newborn.

Report good news: Usually, the child’s father goes to relatives and friends’ homes to report the good news, carrying items such as red eggs.

San Chao Li

San Chao Li is a traditional ceremony held three days after a child’s birth in China. The main customs are:

Shooting to the Four Directions: “Since a boy is born, bows and arrows are used to shoot to the four directions of heaven and earth. The four directions of heaven and earth are everything for a man. Therefore, one must have ambitions for all things before daring to use grain as food.” (Li Ji · Shi Yi) Three days after a boy’s birth, the parents carry him outside and shoot arrows to the four directions of heaven and earth. Obviously, this is to expect the boy to have lofty ambitions when he grows up. This ceremony is not performed for girls.

Receiving the Child: The baby can be carried out three days after birth, which is commonly called “Receiving the Child.” According to tradition, a lucky day within three days must be chosen for the ceremony. The Crown Prince of the Emperor must use three sacrificial animals, while the eldest son of a nobleman uses two, the eldest son of a scholar uses one pig, and the eldest son of a commoner uses one pig.

Washing the Third Day: Also called “Washing the Three Mornings” or “Washing the Child.” It was recorded that the ceremony appeared during the Tang Dynasty and became popular during the Song Dynasty. This is a bathing ritual performed three days after a baby’s birth. The specific practices vary from region to region, but the basic process is similar: the baby is bathed with water boiled with wormwood. Relatives and friends bring silver coins, auspicious fruits, and other items and place them in the bathtub, called “Adding the Tub.” The midwife recites different auspicious words depending on the items thrown into the tub by the guests. For example, if dates and chestnuts are put in, she says “May the child grow up quickly.” If lotus seeds are added, she says “May the child have a noble life,” and so on. After washing, some people also use scallions to tap the baby’s body three times, meaning to make the baby smart and intelligent. During the washing, relatives and friends give red envelopes as gifts, and the host serves cakes and other treats to entertain them, leaving them with “Washing the Third Day Noodles” to eat.

After washing, there is another important ritual called “Fallen Umbilicus and Sizzling Fontanel.” This involves removing the remnants of the newborn’s umbilical cord and applying alum to the baby’s fontanel, symbolizing that the newborn has officially left the pregnancy stage and entered the infant stage.

Starting Breastfeeding:On this day, the mother starts to breastfeed the newborn. In order to make the baby able to endure hardships in the future, a few drops of Huanglian (a bitter-tasting herbal solution) are sprinkled on the nipple before feeding, so that the baby tastes bitterness first. Then, sugar water is applied to the baby’s mouth with fingers to encourage the baby to suckle.

Worshipping the Bed Mother:Legend has it that the Bed God is divided into male and female, and the Bed Lady is fond of wine, while the Bed Lord likes tea. Therefore, wine is offered to the Bed Lady and tea to the Bed Lord. It is customary for people to worship the Bed Mother during weddings, childbirth, San Chao Li, and full moon celebrations, using meat and other offerings soaked in wine as sacrifices.

Full Moon Celebration

Also known as “Mi Yue Li”, it is held when a baby turns one month old. The main customs include:

Full Moon Banquet:This is a popular tradition where friends and family bring gifts to celebrate the occasion. The host prepares a sumptuous feast, known as the Full Moon Banquet, to entertain the guests.

Shaving the Baby’s Hair:On the full moon day, it is customary to shave the baby’s hair for the first time. A hairdresser is usually invited to the house to do the job, and the baby is dressed in new clothes after the haircut.

Moving the Nest:Also known as “Yi Ke”, “Yi Cao” or “Full Moon Walk”, this tradition involves the mother carrying the baby to different rooms in the house and walking around. This marks the first time the baby can move around freely.

Hundred Day Celebration:Wearing “Hundred Families’ Clothes”On the hundredth day of a baby’s life, it is customary to dress the baby in a garment made of cloth pieces from one hundred different families. This is done to wish the baby good health and growth, and to seek the blessings of many families.

Wearing a Longevity Lock:A longevity lock is a decoration worn around the neck of a child. It is believed to ward off evil spirits and protect the child’s life. The tradition of wearing a longevity lock can be traced back to the Han Dynasty, and it has evolved over time to become a popular custom for children.

Zhou Sui Li

The most common tradition for a child’s 5th birthday in China is “zhua zhou,” also known as “trying the child.” The ceremony involves placing objects such as books, brushes, coins, rice, and toys in front of the child, and then observing which object the child chooses to pick up. This is believed to provide insight into the child’s future interests and talents. The ceremony is still widely practiced today, and there are even special sets of objects used specifically for the occasion.

Chinese traditions for new Baby

Respecting tradition, the birth ceremony is still divided into five stages: birth, three-month, full moon, hundred-day, and first birthday.

Birth ceremony

Both boys and girls should wear jade pendants, and it is not appropriate to discriminate against female infants by using different pendants for boys and girls. The specific preparation method and wearing process are as follows:

Choose jade:

During the wife’s pregnancy, the husband and wife select suitable jade ornaments for the child. To differentiate between boys and girls, you can distinguish based on the material, color, and cultural connotations of the jade. The cultural connotation of jade has a rich traditional culture, which cannot be explained in detail here. This issue should be learned and researched by the expectant parents together to choose the jade ornament that best represents their good wishes for their future baby. After the selection, the husband should purchase it from a jade shop, ensuring that the jade ornament can be worn.

This pendant will accompany the child for life, so it is recommended to carefully select a high-quality, well-designed, and durable jade ornament. Of course, there is no need to buy excessively expensive jade ornaments that cost several thousand or tens of thousands of dollars.

Gender identification of the fetus is an illegal act, and we do not support expectant parents to identify the sex of the baby. Therefore, a pair of jade ornaments should be prepared.

Hold the jade:

When the wife enters the delivery room, the husband holds a pair of jade ornaments waiting. A small hanging loop can be made on the swaddling clothes of the baby for hanging the jade pendant. In the time when the husband anxiously awaits the birth of the baby, he holds a warm pair of jade ornaments and must be filled with emotion.

Wear the jade:

After the nurse brings the baby to the mother and baby room, the swaddling clothes are placed on the bed, and the father of the baby personally hangs the jade pendant on the swaddling clothes. The jade pendant should not be too large or too heavy, so as not to affect the mother’s breastfeeding when it is not removed. Hang the jade pendant again after changing the diaper each time.

The Rituals of Hanging Bow and Hanging Scarf

·Preparing the Bow and Scarf:

The bow and arrow will be used in the Three-Chao Ceremony, but they are mainly symbolic and not practical, so there is no need for real large bows and arrows. Toy bows and arrow models that have the shape of a bow and arrow, can draw and shoot, are sufficient. It is strongly recommended that the husband personally make a set of small bows and arrows during his wife’s pregnancy. The size should not be too large, about the length of a newborn baby. Do not underestimate the process of making a bow by hand, as it will arouse a sense of responsibility and joy as a father. One bow and six arrows should be made.

Of course, you can also buy a set of toy bows and arrows (not recommended).

It is strongly recommended that the wife personally embroider a scarf during pregnancy, embroidering her hopes and wishes for her daughter. Of course, this should not be done if it affects normal pregnancy and health. A beautiful and meaningful scarf can also be purchased (not recommended).

·Holding the Bow and Scarf:

Since childbirth will take place in the hospital, family members will be waiting at home. Those holding the bow and scarf, as well as the soon-to-be father holding the zhang outside the delivery room, will eagerly anticipate the arrival of the new life with anxiety and happiness.

·Hanging the Bow and Scarf:

After the baby is born and the gender is determined, the father will notify the waiting family members, who will hang the bow or scarf on the left or right side of the door. It is recommended to hang them outside the front door of the house, so as to share the joy of the birth with neighbors. Of course, they can also be hung outside the mother and baby room in the hospital.

③ Naming

· Choosing a name:

During the wife’s pregnancy, the couple should choose a good name for their child.

· Sealing the name:

The husband should use a brush to solemnly write the child’s name (one name for a boy and one for a girl) on rice paper. Then the wife should personally place it in a red envelope and seal it.

· Naming ceremony:

This should be done after the baby’s first breastfeeding. The mother holds the baby while the father retrieves the envelope. The father should personally open it, and the mother should personally take out the rice paper with the baby’s name and speak the name to the baby.

④ Announcing the good news

The husband should go to the wife’s parents’ home and then to his own parents’ home to announce the good news. The wife’s parents should be informed first, followed by the husband’s parents. The husband should wear formal Hanfu attire.

Upon arrival, the mother and baby’s safety should be announced first, followed by a formal bowing ceremony to the wife’s parents (and then the husband’s parents) three times.

The traditional Han Chinese etiquette for bowing involves standing straight with hands raised to the forehead as in the gesture of “I’m honored to meet you.” Then bowing ninety degrees, then standing up straight again (this is called bowing), while raising both hands to the forehead once more. Then both knees should touch the ground at the same time, slowly bowing down until the palms of the hands touch the ground and the forehead touches the palms of the hands (this is called prostration). Then standing up straight again, raise both hands to the forehead once more (this is called rising). Depending on the ceremony, one may remain standing or bow again. When standing, both hands should be raised to the forehead, then lowered after standing up straight.

When announcing the good news, gifts appropriate to the local customs should be brought. Gifts that are solemn, celebratory, healthy, and frugal are recommended.

The Two and Three Morning Rituals

Shooting to the Four Corners of the World

This ritual is used to encourage male infants to aspire to great heights and seek success in all directions. Three days after the baby is born, the father selects a safe, quiet, and open area (such as a large lawn in the hospital) to hold the ritual, accompanied by his wife and the baby. The husband holds the baby and shoots six arrows with a bow, aiming towards the sky, the ground, the east, the west, the south, and the north, expressing the parents’ encouragement, motivation, and blessings for the child.

Washing in the Three Morning Rituals

Using a Chinese herbal formula that has been proven effective in traditional Chinese medicine and is suitable for baby baths, the baby undergoes the three morning rituals:

Before washing, the father and relatives dressed in traditional Chinese clothing bow to each other formally. The father then bows to each of the guests, who respond with a slight nod.

The baby is then bathed by an experienced caregiver (such as a grandmother or a nanny). Guests observe the process and give their blessings but should not put any objects in the basin to avoid hygiene problems.

After the bath, the host serves the guests the three morning noodles and other appropriate dishes. The host is recommended not to be too extravagant. It is strongly recommended that the host not accept cash gifts or expensive presents from guests, although meaningful gifts may be accepted.

Three, First Moon Celebration(baby full moon or 100 days)

Take traditional ethnic costume photos for the baby on their full moon day.

It is recommended that the family handcraft a set of Hanfu traditional clothing for the baby and take photos at a studio.

Hold a grand and frugal full moon banquet. Invite relatives and friends to share the joy of the baby’s growth and accept their blessings.

Advocate that relatives and friends do not give cash gifts, but rather give inexpensive and meaningful growth commemorative gifts.

Both hosts and guests should wear solemn and festive Hanfu formal attire.

Dining etiquette should be observed during the banquet, and there should be solemn worship before and after the banquet.

Shave the baby’s hair in accordance with folk customs. Pay attention to following medical advice and doing a good job of baby care.

Four, Hundred Days Celebration

Take traditional ethnic costume photos for the baby on their hundredth day.

Same as before.Give the baby a Longevity Thread.Suggest giving a fresh and beautiful Longevity Thread, or you can hang a Longevity Lock.

The Longevity Thread belongs to the traditional Chinese knotting system of weaving and is implicit, beautiful, fresh, and lively. It is best for the mother to handcraft and weave it for the child to wear. The specific weaving method requires careful study by the mother.

Chinese 1 month baby celebration

Full Month Celebration, also known as “Man Yue” in Chinese, refers to the banquet held one month after the birth of a baby. In ancient times, the Han Chinese believed that if a baby survived the first month after birth, it was considered a major accomplishment. To celebrate the baby’s survival and to wish them a healthy and long life, parents usually hold a Full Month ceremony.

Customs:

Reporting the Good News

On the day the baby is born, the father must go to his in-laws’ house to inform them of the news. He will inform his parents-in-law that the mother and child are safe and sound, and congratulate them on having a new grandchild. They will also pay respects to the ancestors and set off firecrackers to celebrate, a process known as “Reporting the Good News.”

Offering Rice Wine

When a daughter gives birth to a child, and both mother and child are safe, the baby’s grandmother will start preparing nutritious food such as eggs and rice wine. Before the third day after childbirth, she will visit her daughter, who is “sitting the month,” and bring the hand-made nutrition items. At the same time, they will also prepare new clothes, strollers, cribs, and other baby items for the baby and give them as gifts on the baby’s full-month celebration. This custom is called “Offering Rice Wine.”

Eating Red Eggs

In ancient times, Full Month celebrations were also called “Eating Full Month Eggs.” Unlike other banquets, the hosts will prepare red-colored eggs as gifts for the guests in advance. Usually, each guest will receive four “red eggs” to take home and consume. Later on, boiled “red eggs” would also be used as substitutes for the dyed red eggs, taking into consideration other factors. This tradition has continued to this day, and there are many different forms of red eggs. Due to the improvement of modern production technology, many other alternatives to red eggs have emerged, such as “Announcing Good News Red Eggs” (actually braised eggs that taste better than regular boiled eggs. With mature production technology and red festive outer packaging, they are more popular). Of course, there are also Hong Kong-style Milk and Egg Puffs (a more Western-style dessert made with sweet taro paste and wrapped in a crispy pastry. It is made into cute egg shapes and wrapped in red foil packaging, which is clean and hygienic) and Egg Yolk Pastries (these are derived from the traditional craftsmanship of Suzhou-style mooncakes. They are filled with oily duck egg yolks and wrapped in layers of crispy pastry, representing the authentic Chinese flavor). These red eggs in Full Month celebrations are a manifestation of traditional Chinese etiquette!

Leaving the Nest

Usually, women will “sit the month” at their in-laws’ house. After the baby turns one month old, the daughter will carry the baby and visit her parents’ home, which is called “Leaving the Nest.” The grandmother will hang decorative threads on the baby’s shoulders and silver ornaments (silver pendants) around the neck, symbolizing blessings for the grandchild to live a long and healthy life, enjoying wealth and prosperity.

How to hold a full moon ceremony

A full moon ceremony symbolizes the beginning of a child’s happy life, which is highly valued by elders. When preparing for the “full moon banquet”, parents need to do the following:

Invitation:

As the name suggests, the host needs to inform relatives and friends in advance of the date and location of the banquet, and the invited guests need to prepare gifts in advance to be presented on the day of the “full moon banquet”. The gifts usually consist of milk powder, clothes, longevity locks, necklaces, bracelets, and other items. It is special that the maternal grandmother will give the newborn baby gifts such as capons and eggs. At the “full moon banquet”, relatives and friends raise their glasses together to celebrate the healthy growth of the newborn. After the banquet, some parents may invite professional hairdressers to give the child a haircut, which is commonly known as the “full moon haircut”.

Precautions for the “Full Moon Banquet”:

Bathe the baby to make sure it is clean to receive blessings from relatives and friends. There will certainly be many relatives and friends who have skin contact with the baby on the day of the “full moon banquet”. To avoid the baby coming into contact with too many sources of pollution, parents can put on small gloves for the baby. At this time, it is recommended that adults wash their hands clean before playing with the baby.

The mother should rest and have minimal contact with guests. Newborn babies need breast milk, and during the first month after birth, they are often with their mother. Therefore, to avoid the newborn coming into contact with a large number of pathogens on the mother’s clothes, it is recommended that the mother also have minimal contact with the guests at the “full moon banquet”. Before feeding, the mother must remember to clean her hands before holding the baby.

For the health of the baby, it is not recommended for the baby to be present at the banquet. If the baby has to attend, it is best for the parents to place the baby in a place with fewer people and good ventilation.”

Chinese 1st birthday traditions

The entire first-year birthday celebration consists of 10 steps:

Rolling Disaster (Grandmother)

Roll a peeled boiled egg over the baby’s body and recite “Roll away disaster, bring in good luck and health for the baby.” Although this custom originally served as a folk remedy for treating children’s injuries and colds in the Guangzhou area, its intention as a blessing has been preserved.

Hand Purification (Grandmother)

Place an apple, rice, and scallions in water and wash the baby’s hands, wishing them a lifetime of peace, purity, and cleanliness.

1st wash: For intelligence, talent and everything the child could want.

2nd wash: For wealth and prosperity.

3rd wash: For a smooth and trouble-free life.

Crowned Clothing (Grandmother)

On significant holidays, it is customary to wear new clothes, especially in bright colors that represent a thriving life and good fortune.

Sending Blessings (Grandmother-in-law)

Since ancient times, the longevity lock, shaped like an ancient lock, has been considered a lucky charm that can ward off disasters and keep evil spirits away. It is used to protect the child’s health and prevent illness from invading the child’s body, with the meaning of “locking” in good health and fortune.

With a gold bracelet, the baby will have a safe and happy life.

With a hundred blessings lock, the baby will be surrounded by blessings and good luck.

Combing Hair (Mom)

One comb opens up wisdom, making the baby clever and cute;

Two combs bring financial luck, the baby’s wealth rolls in;

Three combs make hands skilled, able to do anything;

Four combs bring good social connections, with many friends;

Five combs ensure good health, with no illness or disasters, starting a successful career;

Six combs bring academic success, with glory, wealth and honor for countless years.

Striking the Gong for Wisdom (Dad)

One strike opens up wisdom;

Two strikes lead to academic success;

Three strikes bring financial prosperity.

Grabbing Items on First Birthday (Baby)

Since the period of the Northern and Southern Dynasties, grabbing items on the first birthday has been an important ritual in the celebration of the baby’s first year of life. It not only brings the family together to celebrate the first birthday but also is an interactive game to predict the baby’s future and personality, a beautiful wish for a long and prosperous life.

Footprint Imprinting (Parents)

As time passes by, the young baby will eventually grow up. In those days without visual records, memories fade away, but these permanently saved footprints can become precious souvenirs of the baby’s early years. In our Chinese culture, there is also the meaning of contentment and happiness.

Sealing Wine (Grandpa)

China’s wine culture has a long history, and in all kinds of celebrations, wine is always an essential item. The tradition of sealing wine at one’s first birthday has a long history, and today we also preserve fine wine to share and enjoy together in the future.

One bottle of wine as a coronation gift, to be opened when you grow up;

Two bottles of wine as a tribute to your academic success, to be opened when you earn a top rank;

Three bottles of wine as a toast to your happy marriage, to be opened on your wedding day.

Enjoying Blessings through Food (Baby)

Eating an egg for a round and full life;

Eating an apple for peace and safety;

Eating longevity noodles for a long and healthy life.

Zhuā Zhōu Ceremony

The Zhuā Zhōu ceremony is a major ritual to celebrate a child’s first birthday in China. This ritual dates back to the Northern Qi dynasty (550-577 AD) and was called “shì ér”. During the Song dynasty (960-1279 AD), it became more prevalent and was called “niān zhōu shì suì”. Later on, it became known as “Zhuā Zhōu” in the folk culture. When a baby turns one year old, family and friends generally give gifts. Wealthy families hold a “first birthday banquet” and display calligraphy and paintings, inkstones, swords, abacuses, scales, and other items for the child to choose from, predicting their future based on their preferences.

Why is the Zhuā Zhōu ceremony held when the baby just turns one year old? This is probably because one year old represents the best time to dream, express, and confirm dreams. The younger the child, the more pure and accurate their intuition is. Adults understand the reason behind this. A newborn baby is like a piece of jade just chipped from a block, naturally formed, without being influenced by the world. All of a baby’s actions and experiences start with their nature. The eyes of a baby emitting the fragrance of milk are pure and clear, unable to see the chaos and impurities of the world. A baby’s eyes are the window to their spirit, which can communicate with the divine, and the last glimpse of humanity toward divinity. Therefore, we must hold the Zhuā Zhōu ceremony for babies when they turn one year old.

It is said that Mr. Qian Zhongshu, during his Zhuā Zhōu ceremony in 1911, chose a book, and his father named him “Zhongshu” officially, later becoming a famous scholar and writer in China.

Abacus (or Scale, Computer)

Explanation: This person has strong logical skills and a talent for mathematics. They have a tendency towards science and may pursue a career in scientific research or engineering.

Name suggestions: For males – (Li) (Xue) (Ke) which means science; For females – (Yan) (Yan) (Zhu) (Xin) which means beautiful, research, abacus bead, and have a good sense of numbers respectively.

Book (One book is enough, preferably in the field of liberal arts)

Explanation: This person has a strong inclination towards liberal arts and may pursue a career in education or academic research.

Name suggestions: For males – (Shu) (Jing) (Zhang) which means book, classics, and chapter respectively; For females – (Shi) (Wen) which means poem and literature respectively.

Coins (Preferably ancient coins, rather than modern banknotes and coins)

Explanation: This person is good at finance and may pursue a career in banking, investment, accounting, or entrepreneurship.

Name suggestions: For males – (Shang) (Cai) (Fu) which means business, wealth, and prosperity respectively; For females – (Zi) (Yin) (Jin Bo) which means assets, silver, and gold and silk respectively.

Inkstick (Hair brush, Steel pen, Painting brush and inkstone tools are all acceptable)

Explanation: This person may pursue a career in writing or journalism. They may also work in related fields such as painting, design, etc.

Name suggestions: For males – (Tu) (Chuang) which means drawing and creation respectively; For females – (Yi) (Ya) (Si) which means idea, elegance, and thought respectively.

Seal (Stamp, Seal pad)

Explanation: This person has management skills and may pursue a career in government or a large organization, gradually advancing up the ranks.

Name suggestions: For males – (Quan) (Neng) (Zhong) which means power, ability, and loyalty respectively; For females – (Hui) (Qun) which means benevolence and group respectively.

Meat (Wrap the meat in plastic wrap)

Explanation: This person has a strong desire for material things, but it may not be a bad thing. They may pursue a career in the food industry or the service industry, providing entertainment for the senses.

Name suggestions: For males – (Le) (Xiang) (Gan) which means happiness, fragrance, and sweetness respectively; For females – (Xiang) (Mei) (Tian) which means fragrance, beauty, and sweetness respectively.

Swords (using fake swords to avoid danger)

Explanation: This person is healthy and strong, suitable for martial arts or disciplined forces. Although today’s society values literacy over martial arts, they may still become outstanding athletes.

Name suggestions: For males, (Wu) (Yong) (Qiang); for females, (Guo: representing female power) (Ying) or more masculine names.

Soil (wrap a handful of soil in plastic wrap)

Explanation: In ancient times, it represented agriculture. Although there are few agricultural occupations today, it is still closely related to environmental protection, gardening, and medicine.

Name suggestions: For males, (Nong) (Geng) (Zhi: representing medical treatment); for females, (Yun) (Yuan).

Celery (just use one stalk of celery)

Explanation: Be mentally prepared; this person may not have outstanding eloquence but is diligent and dependable. They excel in stable, patient, and methodical work.

Name suggestions: For males, (Qin) (Jian) (Li); for females, (Yi) (Qin) (Heng).

Ruler (preferably use a wooden or metal ruler instead of a plastic one)

Explanation: A ruler has many meanings; tailors use it, and so do those in the construction industry. We must observe a child’s interests and hobbies carefully to determine which direction they may take.

Name suggestions: For males, (Du) (Li) (Jian); for females, (Yi: clothing depends on it) (Si) (Qiao).

Orange (just use one orange)

Explanation: This person has good fortune and a profound blessing. They may not achieve outstanding success in their career but may inherit family blessings or have a humble and contented personality that allows them to enjoy life without too much competition.

Name suggestions: For males, (Fu) (Ji) (Ze); for females, (An) (Ru) (Jing).

Scallions (use one raw scallion or green onion)

Explanation: This person is naturally intelligent and should work in industries that value creativity and eloquence, avoiding rigid and formulaic work. For example, if they study law, they should become litigators rather than transactional lawyers; if they study business, they should become salespeople rather than simply sitting in the office processing paperwork.

Name suggestions: For males, (Cong) (Ming) (Zhi); for females, (Min) (Jie) (Hui).

Chinese 18th birthday traditions

Coming of Age Ceremony, also known as Adult Ceremony, is a life ritual held to recognize the ability and qualification of young people to enter society. It is a widespread cultural phenomenon and is usually celebrated with a grand ceremony.

The ceremony varies in style and content across different ethnic groups. It symbolizes that the young person has reached a certain age, has matured sexually, and is now able to marry and participate in various activities as an adult member of the clan. The Adult Ceremony (also known as the “Cheng Ding” ceremony) is held by the elders of the clan according to tradition to formally recognize the young person as an adult.

In ancient China, Han men had the Guan Li ceremony when they came of age, while women had the Ji Li ceremony. In ancient times, the Guan Li ceremony was held before the wedding. Therefore, the words “Guan” and “Hun” (meaning wedding) were often used together.

During the ceremony, the young man would receive the “Guan Li” ceremony and the young woman would receive the “Ji Li” ceremony. The Guan Li ceremony for men involved wearing many traditional garments, including the hat, scarf, robe, leather belt, etc. In modern times, a watch and shoes can be used instead. The Ji Li ceremony for women involved wearing a hairpin in ancient times, but today, combing the hair can be used instead.

The Tea Ceremony involves showing gratitude to parents for 18 years of nurturing by serving tea to them. It is also common to serve tea to teachers to express gratitude for their guidance.

Chinese 50th birthday traditions

Ancient Chinese people said, “At thirty, I was independent; at forty, I no longer doubted; at fifty, I knew the fate of heaven.” Fifty years old is a very important age in life, which is not inferior to traditional festivals for individuals. Therefore, when celebrating a 50th birthday, you must pay attention to these customs in order to bring good luck.

Celebrate the 50th birthday at the age of 49

The number 9 is very important to Chinese people. In ancient times, it was a symbol of “the power of the Ninety-Fifth Five” and the beauty of “longevity.” However, when it comes to 50, which ends with a zero, it represents a sign of everything turning into nothingness. Therefore, celebrating the 50th birthday at the age of 49 represents longevity. Nowadays, when people celebrate their birthday, they usually eat cakes and blow out candles. Here is a detail: when blowing out the candles, they must be extinguished in one breath, representing the wish coming true at once and symbolizing good omens and good health.

Don’t be too ostentatious on your 50th birthday

Although in tradition, a birthday is also called a longevity celebration, it is not suitable to be too ostentatious except for major birthdays. According to feng shui, after celebrating a birthday, a person’s lifespan will be recorded for one year. Once the lifespan is determined, it cannot be changed. If everyone knows about the birthday celebration, and the person is still young at 50, it may lead to a bad outcome due to overestimating their luck.

Do not celebrate your birthday during the ghost month

People who were born in the seventh lunar month are not suitable to celebrate their birthday during this month because the yin energy is heavy, and evil spirits are rampant. Celebrating a birthday during this time may lead to bad luck. At the same time, in traditional customs, eating longevity noodles and red eggs during a birthday celebration have auspicious meanings for good luck.

Chinese60th birthday traditions

A person’s 60th birthday is a milestone in life and should be celebrated with special activities.

  • It is important to set up a longevity hall. The longevity hall is the place to celebrate the birthday, usually located in the main hall of the house. The name of the birthday person and the link to their 60th birthday are hung in the hall, with the character “寿” (longevity) displayed prominently in the middle. On each side of the character are the characters “百” (hundred), forming the auspicious phrase “百福寿” (hundred blessings and longevity), wishing the person a long life comparable to Mount Nanshan and a good life like the East Sea.
  • A person’s 60th birthday marks the entry into a new phase of life. On this day, family and friends bring gifts to celebrate the occasion. The birthday person sits in the longevity hall in new clothes, receiving blessings and bowing from their direct descendants.
  • Birthday gifts are carefully chosen. Most people do not pay much attention to the gifts they receive for other people’s birthdays before they turn 60. When they reach 60, they start paying attention to birthday gifts. Gifts can be clothes, birthday gold, or food.
  • The longevity banquet is elaborate. After receiving birthday gifts in the longevity hall, the longevity banquet can be held. The birthday person must eat a bowl of thin and long longevity noodles, symbolizing a long and healthy life. Then the banquet officially begins, with the 60-year-old birthday person sitting at the head of the table. The eldest son kneels down and raises his head, serving the first three dishes as a gesture of gratitude to the guests.

Chinese 80th birthday traditions

Celebrating one’s 80th birthday is considered a significant milestone in Chinese culture, and it is customary for family and friends to come together to congratulate the person. Guests bring gifts and enjoy performances centered around the themes of wealth, fortune, and longevity. A traditional dish served at the celebration is pig’s trotter vermicelli, and the birthday person is expected to dress up and receive blessings from their descendants in the main hall.

For those over the age of 50, birthday celebrations occur every ten years, such as the “50th birthday”, “60th birthday”, and so on. However, these celebrations actually occur on the years ending in nine, such as 49, 59, 69, etc., as the number nine is considered lucky due to its highest value in the decimal system.

Before a big birthday celebration, the birthday person must send invitations to close friends and family at least three days in advance to avoid being impolite. The guests bring gifts, such as longevity peaches, fabric, and pastries with the Chinese character for longevity. The fabric, called a “birthday canopy”, is hung around the courtyard with auspicious words and the names of the giver and receiver written on it.

The birthday ceremony takes place in the main hall, where a birthday banner is hung and traditional couplets with phrases like “fortune like the East Sea” and “longevity surpassing Mount Nan” are displayed. On the Eight Immortals table, offerings are placed, including incense burners, candles, and yellow paper replicas of money and gold ingots. Longevity foods, such as peaches and noodles, are also arranged on the table.

During the ceremony, guests kneel and pay respects to the birthday person on a red cushion, while younger guests bow instead. Later in the evening, lanterns made of colorful paper are lit and offered to the gods as a symbol of the birthday person’s age, along with burning paper money and other offerings.

Chinese 100th birthday traditions

Centenarian’s 100th birthday is known as “Qiyi” in Chinese culture. It refers to reaching the age of 100. The Book of Rites says, “One hundred years old is called Qiyi.” Zheng Xuan’s annotation explains, “Qiyi means essential; Yi means nurture. A filial child must fully nurture them without neglecting their clothing, food, dwelling, and transportation needs.” This means that when a person reaches the age of 100, their clothing, food, dwelling, and transportation needs must be taken care of by their filial children, so “one hundred years” is called “Qiyi.”

The Centenarian’s birthday banquet is an important ceremony in Chinese traditional culture to celebrate the centenarian’s birthday. Depending on the traditions and customs of different regions and families, there are some rules and etiquette requirements at the Centenarian’s birthday banquet. Here are some common rules and etiquette:

Choose a good host and emcee for the banquet: At the Centenarian’s birthday banquet, the eldest son or grandson is usually the host, and the most senior relative or social celebrity is the emcee.

Prepare a sumptuous feast: To celebrate the centenarian’s birthday, a sumptuous feast is usually prepared, including various nutritious dishes, exquisite cakes, and other foods to express congratulations.

Present birthday gifts: At the Centenarian’s birthday banquet, relatives and friends will present birthday gifts, such as the Chinese character for longevity, red envelopes, greeting cards, etc., to express their blessings and respect.

Serve tea to the centenarian: At the Centenarian’s birthday banquet, the host represents all the guests in serving tea to the centenarian, to show respect and blessings.

Respect the centenarian’s wishes: At the Centenarian’s birthday banquet, the centenarian’s status is highly respected, and all arrangements should be made according to their wishes, to express respect and reverence for the centenarian.

why Chinese wear red on birthdays?

Ancient people believed that the zodiac guardians would perform a heavenly sacrifice during the zodiac year. At this time, the protective power of humans would weaken, and demons and evil spirits would take advantage of the situation to enter. Red is believed to ward off disasters and evil spirits, so people wear red clothes and tie red belts. Therefore, wearing red clothes and tying red belts to ward off evil has been passed down through the generations. Even underwear and socks should be red, as well as red shoe insoles and underpants.

In traditional customs, the zodiac year is usually considered an unlucky year. “In one’s zodiac year, the ‘tai sui’ is above the head, and there will be no joy without disaster” is the best expression of the unlucky nature of one’s zodiac year. Therefore, folk customs usually refer to the zodiac year as the “doorstep year”, which means that passing through the zodiac year is like stepping over a threshold. People born in the zodiac year should wear it on their waist and wrists, which can ward off disasters and turn bad luck into good fortune.

Wearing red clothes is the most common and popular practice for one’s birth year. In Chinese folklore, red has always been a favorite color of people. Generally speaking, on festive occasions or happy events, it is always inseparable from red things to set off the festive atmosphere.

The taboo of “giving birth fate” has a widespread influence in folk culture. In the customs of southern and northern China, there is a tradition of hanging red on one’s birthday to ward off evil and disaster. Therefore, people born in the zodiac year are especially fond of red.

“Chong hong” means to earnestly request red. In the hearts of most Chinese people, red is a color with a strong sense of life. For example, pasting Spring Festival couplets, red window flowers, hanging red lanterns, etc.

The emphasis on red in one’s birth year should stem from the worship of red in traditional Han Chinese culture. Red wards off evil and is auspicious. This concept has existed since primitive society. Red is the color of the sun, blood, and fire.

With the changes of the times, this idea of ​​worshiping red has never changed. On New Year’s Day, red couplets, red wedding gowns, red covers, red candles, red picture frames, etc. are all used in old Han Chinese weddings. Regardless of the time and place, people use red to add joy.

Red is a very auspicious and cheerful color, so regardless of whether there is any feudal superstition in one’s birth year, people are still willing to purchase some traditional red products, full of hope in the hope of red, and hope that this year will be smooth and lucky.

Chinese birthday animals

Chinese birthday animals refer to the twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac, which are associated with each year in a twelve-year cycle. The animals are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Each animal is believed to have specific characteristics that influence a person’s personality and fortune based on their birth year. For example, people born in the Year of the Rat are believed to be clever, resourceful, and quick-witted, while those born in the Year of the Ox are believed to be honest, hardworking, and dependable.

color of Chinese birthdays

Wearing red clothes is the most common and popular practice for people born in their zodiac year. In Chinese folklore, red has always been a beloved color. Generally speaking, during festivals and celebrations, red elements are always used to enhance the festive atmosphere. Moreover, I have a feeling that there will be many challenges this year, and one must wear or carry something red in order to have a good life and not feel unhappy. This belief and practice have been passed down from generation to generation since ancient times.

Regarding the folklore of “birth year,” the taboo of “giving birth year” has a widespread influence in folk customs. In the northern and southern folk customs, there is a tradition of hanging red objects during birthdays to ward off evil spirits and misfortunes. Therefore, people born in the zodiac year especially like the color red.

Chinese birthday red envelope

The numbers for birthday red envelopes have different meanings:

288 – The ending sounds like “prosperity.”

366 – The ending sounds like “smooth sailing.”

520 – The pronunciation sounds like “I love you.”

666 – Represents smooth sailing and good luck.

800 – The number 8 is considered lucky and sounds like “prosperity.”

888 – Represents prosperity.

999 – Symbolizes long-lasting friendship.

1001 – Usually given by parents to a new couple and means “once in a lifetime.”

1314 – Symbolizes sweet and lasting love.

1666 – Represents a smooth and lucky future for the new couple.

1688 – Symbolizes prosperity all the way.

1999 – Represents a lifetime of good friendship and blessings for the new couple.

6666 – Represents smooth and lucky success.

8888 – Represents good luck and prosperity.

9999 – Symbolizes long-lasting friendship and love.

Red envelopes can also be given according to the birthday date. For example, for someone born on December 20th, you can give an envelope with the amount of 12.20, 1.20, or 122.0 to represent the date. You can also use red envelope numbers to represent anniversaries for boyfriends/girlfriends.

what do Chinese eat on their birthday?-Chinese birthday food

chinese birthday food traditions:

  • Birthday cake is a must-have item, especially for children and young people. Even if it’s for older people, they still need to buy it because it has become a common thing. Whether they like it or not is one thing, and whether they follow the form is another.
  • Eating longevity noodles, which are simply noodles, can come in many varieties. This tradition dates back to the Western Han Dynasty. When Emperor Wu celebrated his birthday, the imperial chef made a table of noodles. However, Emperor Wu was not pleased and thought to himself, “As the emperor, is this cheap noodle dish all I get for my birthday?” He then asked everyone, “The Book of Xiang states that if a person’s philtrum (the groove between the nose and the upper lip) is long, they can live to be 100 years old. Is this true?” At this moment, Dongfang Shuo replied, “I’m not laughing at Your Majesty, but at Pengzu. If someone can live to be 100 years old with a one-inch-long philtrum, Pengzu must have had an eight-inch-long philtrum to live for 800 years. Imagine how long his face must have been! It’s impossible to live longer by making your face longer, but we can come up with a creative way to express our hope for longevity. Face is noodle, long face is long noodle, and the imperial chef used long noodles to wish the emperor a long and healthy life!” Emperor Wu was pleased to hear this, and thus, eating noodles on birthdays gradually became a custom.
  • Eating eggs is also a birthday custom in some regions. People roll eggs over their bodies several times and believe it will ward off bad luck. This tradition also has a story behind it. In the ancient Chinese book of poetry, Shijing, there is a poem called “Xuan Niao,” which describes a divine bird that descended to the Shang Dynasty. According to the legend, a woman named Jiandi found a swallow’s egg while she was out, and after eating it, she gave birth to the founder of the Yin and Shang Dynasties, Qi. People hope that their children will also have talent like Qi, so they began to give each other swallow’s eggs as a sign of good wishes. Eventually, eggs replaced swallow’s eggs, and it became a tradition to eat eggs on birthdays.
  • Eating peaches is also a birthday tradition as peaches symbolize longevity. This custom comes from a story about Sun Bin. Sun Bin went to study with Guiguzi and had not been home for a long time. One day, he remembered that it was his mother’s birthday, so he asked his master for leave to go home and celebrate. Guiguzi told Sun Bin, “You have been studying outside for a long time and have not yet repaid your mother’s kindness. I’ll give you a peach to take home and celebrate her birthday.” Sun Bin’s mother ate the peach and became young again. This story spread, and people began to follow Sun Bin’s example and give peaches as a gift to celebrate birthdays.
  • Eating fish, on birthdays it’s good to have red carp, catfish, and male fish. Catfish is particularly auspicious as it represents longevity, while eating red carp is also very good as it signifies abundance. Eating yellow croaker on birthdays is also considered very good, as it represents having surplus every year.
  • Eating dumplings on birthdays symbolizes the transition from old to new, and the new year brings wealth and prosperity. The shape of dumplings is similar to ancient silver coins, hence eating dumplings on birthdays signifies the attraction of wealth and prosperity. Additionally, while boiling dumplings, three rounds of cold water are added to the pot, which represents a new year of abundant wealth. This is related to the significance of dumplings, also known as “jiaozi” or “jiaoer,” meaning the transition from old to new, i.e., “gengsui jiaozi,” with “sui” meaning time.
  • Eating rice cake on birthdays is a good omen for a prosperous and successful year ahead. So, eating rice cake on birthdays signifies a good start to the year.
  • Eating glutinous rice balls on birthdays means wishing you and your family a happy and harmonious reunion. The symbolism of glutinous rice balls represents a happy and harmonious family. Eating glutinous rice balls means that in the new year, the family will be happy and united, expressing people’s longing and expectations for a happy life.

Shou Tao

Shou Tao is a peach in Chinese mythology that can bestow longevity and good health. The Taiping Yulan, a Chinese encyclopedia from the Tang dynasty, cites the book “Shen Yi Jing” by Dongfang Shuo, which describes a tree in the northeast that grows peaches with a diameter of 3 feet 2 inches and a small pit. Eating these peaches is said to impart longevity.

Shou Tao also refers to a peach-shaped pastry or cake made of flour or fresh peaches that is used to celebrate birthdays and other happy occasions in Chinese culture. This tradition has a long history and is said to have originated from two different stories. According to one legend, the famous Chinese strategist Sun Bin presented his mother with a peach, which made her younger and stronger, inspiring people to emulate him. Another legend says that the tradition of presenting Shou Tao was modeled after the Peach Banquet held by the Queen Mother of the West, a prominent deity in Chinese mythology, to celebrate her birthday.

Shou Tao symbolizes longevity, good health, and happiness, and is often presented as a gift for people’s birthdays and other happy occasions.

chinese birthday bun-shou bao

Shoutao Bao, also known as Shoutao, is a regional snack belonging to the category of lotus seed paste buns. It is widely spread in the Jiangnan area of China. Traditionally, Shoutao used for birthday celebrations is called Shoutao, while a similar bun used for funerals is called Shoubao. However, nowadays, the terms are often confused, and both are referred to as Shoubao in Hong Kong’s restaurant industry and among the general public.

Shoutao is a steamed bun snack that usually has a white dough body with pink dots or light pink color on the surface. There is a slight straight line in the middle, and one end of the bun is pointed and thin, imitating the shape of a peach. The bun has a bright color, a realistic shape, a soft texture, and a peach flavor.

Ingredients: fermented dough. Filling: sweet bean paste.

Additional ingredients: alkaline water, cocoa powder, red food coloring, spinach juice.

Instructions:

Step 1: Add alkaline water to the fermented dough, knead it evenly, divide it into small pieces, and roll them into dough skins. Fill the skins with sweet bean paste and close them into a ball shape.

Step 2: Pinch one end of the ball into a point, and press a seam into the shape of a peach using a bone plate. Mix a small amount of dough with spinach juice to make leaves and stick them to the bottom of the peach shape.

Step 3: Steam the buns in a steamer for 15 minutes, then sprinkle red food coloring on the surface.

baozi(buns) in Chinese birthday

Firstly, the shape of the baozi represents completeness. Its perfect spherical shape symbolizes a state of beauty, perfection, and completeness. On a special day like a birthday, we all wish to have a fulfilling year ahead. Eating baozi represents our hope that everything in the new year will be complete and satisfactory.

Secondly, baozi also carries the connotation of a bountiful harvest. In rural communities, eating baozi on birthdays has a special tradition. People believe that eating baozi can bring good luck and a bountiful harvest for the new year. Baozi represents the abundance of the land and the fields, and is a symbol of productivity. Eating baozi signifies our desire for a fruitful and successful year in work, career, and life.

In addition, baozi also symbolizes the idea of reunion. Eating baozi is not just a solitary act, but a shared experience with family, friends, and relatives. It represents unity, harmony, and spending a pleasant time with loved ones on this special day. Eating baozi can also deepen our relationships with others and make the birthday celebration more memorable.

Lastly, baozi also signifies the importance of cherishing time and opportunities. Every year’s birthday is a rare opportunity that represents entering the next stage of life. We should feel proud of our efforts and achievements from the past year. Eating baozi on birthdays reminds us to cherish such opportunities, set goals for the new year, and strive towards them.

Chinese birthday wishes

Here are some common Chinese birthday wishes:

生日快乐!(Shēngrì kuàilè!) – Happy Birthday!

祝你岁岁平安,年年有余。(Zhù nǐ suì suì píng’ān, nián nián yǒu yú.) – Wishing you peace every year and abundance every year.

恭喜发财,寿比南山。(Gōngxǐ fācái, shòu bǐ nánshān.) – Congratulations on becoming rich and having a long life like the southern mountains.

祝你健康长寿,心想事成。(Zhù nǐ jiànkāng chángshòu, xīn xiǎng shì chéng.) – Wishing you good health, a long life, and success in all your endeavors.

愿你在新的一岁里,所有的希望都能变成现实。(Yuàn nǐ zài xīn de yī suì lǐ, suǒyǒu de xīwàng dōu néng biàn chéng xiànshí.) – May all your hopes come true in the coming year.

一年更比一年好,一生更比一生富。(Yī nián gèng bǐ yī nián hǎo, yī shēng gèng bǐ yī shēng fù.) – May each year be better than the last, and may your life be richer with each passing year.

愿你的每一个愿望都都能实现,生日快乐。(Yuàn nǐ de měi yīgè yuànwàng dōu néng shíxiàn, shēngrì kuàilè.) – May all your wishes come true. Happy Birthday!

愿你的生命之路永远充满欢乐、温馨和成功。(Yuàn nǐ de shēngmìng zhī lù yǒngyuǎn chōngmǎn huānlè, wēn xīn hé chénggōng.) – May your life be filled with joy, warmth, and success always.

Note: These are just a few examples, and there are many other ways to wish someone a happy birthday in Chinese.

chinese birthday wishes good health

  • Time flies, and in the blink of an eye, our graceful and beautiful aunt has entered retirement life. On your birthday, I send my wishes to you, hoping that you will always be young and beautiful!
  • Looking back on the past, your humorous words and genuine personality come to mind. You are an endless sea, tolerant of our mistakes, and a trickle of water, nourishing our hearts. Wishing you a happy birthday and successful career!
  • Health and happiness always.
  • Life is long and winding, with joys and sorrows. You always care and worry about me. Your advice and encouragement help me get through difficulties. Dad, thank you for your help and understanding. May your birthday be especially happy!
  • Enjoy Coke and Fanta for all occasions.
  • When I am sad, when I am discouraged, my dear father is always paying attention to me. Your advice and encouragement help me get through difficulties. Dad, thank you for your help and understanding. May your birthday be especially happy!
  • May your birthday bring you health and happiness. Let’s celebrate with friends today. We have gained something in our happy life, and we share this joy with you, our honored guest.
  • Time waits for no one, and the elder’s birthday has arrived, adding another year to their age. Here are some birthday wishes for the elderly, wishing you health and longevity.
  • Dear, tomorrow is your birthday. I send you this message to tell you that I am always ready, waiting for your call. I want to say to you that you are the only girl worth waiting for in my life.
  • Wishing you happiness, let’s raise a glass to you.

chinese birthday wishes for grandma

  • Today is a joyful day. On this day, after your decades of hard work, your descendants gather together to share the joy of family. I wish you a long and healthy life, and a wonderful tomorrow!
  • With heartfelt wishes for my dear grandmother, may peace and prosperity abound, and may your descendants flourish like branches and leaves. May you always have a smile on your face and good fortune in your heart. On this auspicious day, let us celebrate with family and friends, and may happiness fill our home. Warm wishes for a happy birthday!
  • Your birthday reminds me of your kindness and everything you have done for me. I only hope to repay the happiness you have given me. May everything go smoothly for you, and may you have boundless happiness!
  • In my heart, my grandmother will always be the greatest person in this world, always selflessly giving to her children and grandchildren. You will surely live a long life. We all love you and wish you a happy birthday!
  • You are a tree, sheltering us from wind and rain. You are the sun, bringing light into our lives. Dear grandmother, I wish you good health and a long life. Happy birthday!
  • May blessings surround you on your colorful journey through life, in your dreamland that forever borders spring. May all your wishes come true! May you be healthy and live a long life! Happy birthday!
  • Dear grandmother who I remember in my dreams, you are my sunshine. I will always remember your kindness and nurturing. On your special day, I wish you good health and everlasting happiness!
  • Happy birthday to my precious grandmother, may you be healthy and happy in your later years! You have educated me and made me who I am today. Now that I have grown up and you have aged, I will be even more filial to you in the future!
  • Fires always extinguish, and people always grow old. The gray hair on your head is a testament to your hard work, and the bent back of my mother is a testament to her struggles… May blessings come every year, and may they deepen with each passing year!
  • In this lifetime, you have been my grandmother, and I have been your granddaughter. This is the best arrangement that God has given me. I wish you a happy birthday, good health, and happiness every day!

Chinese birthday wishes for mother

  • Happy laughter – this is a reliable sign of good mental health. May you be happy and laughing every day in the new year.
  • Let the beautiful sunrise, sunset, and colorful clouds fly into your life – this is my wish for you!
  • Time flies and years pass by, but blessings never fade and friendship never changes. I deeply wish you a happy birthday and happiness forever.
  • The heartfelt birthday wishes are for your special day, but love will be with you all year round.
  • Fire will eventually extinguish, and people will eventually grow old. Gray hair is a testimony to a mother’s hard work, and a slightly curved back is a reflection of a mother’s hardships. I wish you blessings year after year, and deep blessings year after year!
  • You nourished my soul and body with maternal love. Your milk is the source of my thinking, and your eyes are the hope of my life. My mother, I don’t know how to repay you. Happy birthday to you!
  • Your birthday reminds me of your care for me and everything you have done for me. I only hope to return the happiness you have given me. I wish you all the best and boundless happiness! Happy birthday to you!
  • I love you, thank you, and I will continue to bless you, because you have done everything that a mother can do. Happy birthday to you!
  • You are like a frost-covered maple tree that becomes more red with age, and you have experienced the ups and downs of life, yet your mind and heart remain open and broad. I sincerely wish that your tree of life remains evergreen.
  • Through the ups and downs of 80 years, my mother has experienced the changes of the world. The greatest wealth she has accumulated in her lifetime is her simple and honest character, her kind and generous way of dealing with people, and her strict but loving family values. All of these accompanied her through the difficult times, and brought her happiness in her old age.

chinese birthday wishes for friend

  • On the blooming orchid petals, I wrote my infinite thoughts and blessings to you, my dear friend. Happy birthday!
  • My dear friend, on your birthday, words cannot express all the blessings I have for you. A bouquet of flowers shows my heartfelt feelings. May your life be like a beautiful flower, blooming with fragrance and touching hearts. Despite the challenges and rough roads, success will come in the spring. May you bravely move forward and live a happy life, like flowers in full bloom!
  • The days with wind bring back easy memories, the days with rain are romantic and graceful, the days with frost are emotional and precipitated, the days with snow are waiting for the soul. Your days, however, are filled with the sound of blooming flowers. Wishing you a happy birthday, all the best, and let’s have many more happy days together. Remember, you can’t find a boyfriend without my permission, I still have to celebrate your next birthday with you!
  • They say shooting stars make wishes come true, and if that’s true, I’m willing to wait under the night sky until a star is moved by me and carries my blessings to fall on your pillow. My dear friend, please accept my birthday wishes after you receive this message. Happy birthday!
  • Happy birthday to my wonderful friend in China. Thank you for being a part of my life. May time be gentle and bring you more luck. Remember, I’ll always be here with you, until you get married.
  • From being strangers to becoming close friends, we will be friends for life. May time never change, and our friendship never fades away. Let peaceful and warm times accompany you, and all the good things come true. I just want to say to you, my dear friend, happy birthday.
  • I love the phrase “May everything go well,” as I hope you get more than you lose in the next year, and everything turns out better than expected. My dear friend, happy birthday!
  • Wishing you a happy birthday, may you always be happy. We are the best of friends in China.
  • From today on, the days will only get better, and life will become more wonderful. Happy birthday.
  • The danger of the world collapsing is nothing compared to our everlasting memories. Wishing you a happy birthday!

Chinese birthday wishes for mother in law

  • Mother-in-law, your birthday today brings endless joy and happiness to our family. Wishing you health, longevity, and happiness.
  • The universe has righteousness, diverse forms come together. Below are the rivers and mountains, above are the sun and stars. In humanity, there is great virtue that can block the heavens. The royal path should be pure and clear, like a celestial being. Only after the cold of winter can one appreciate the pine and cypress, and the glory and prosperity are therefore listed in the forest. Wishing you a happy birthday, may youth always be with you.
  • Mother-in-law, your smile is as warm as sunshine, your advice is as gentle as spring breeze, your care is as nourishing as sweet rain, and your companionship is as vast as the blue sky. On your special birthday, may you be in a joyful mood and have a good day every day!
  • Mother-in-law, wishing you a happy birthday! May you always be healthy, young, and beautiful. Your words can teach me a lot, and your gaze can deeply make me feel the warmth of family affection. Thank you for your love and support. I will work harder to make you proud!
  • On your special birthday, may you be healthy, happy, and everything goes well! Thank you for taking care of me and making me feel the warmth of home under your love. Happy birthday to you!
  • Mother-in-law, you are the treasure of our family and the most respected elder. On your birthday, our family must accompany you to spend it together. Wishing you endless happiness and eternal health!
  • Today is your birthday, although we cannot be with you, our blessings will surely reach the bottom of your heart. May you have a beautiful day every day, be healthy, happy, and fulfilled!
  • Mother-in-law, you gave me the most precious gift, which is your son. On your special birthday, wishing you boundless happiness, health, longevity, and eternal happiness!

Chinese birthday wishes for girlfriend

  • Today is your birthday, dear girlfriend. May your birthday be filled with warmth and love. May your dreams and hopes all come true, and may you always have happiness and joy.
  • I want to knit you a warm sweater with my own hands, so that you can feel my love and care even on cold winter days. May your birthday be filled with warmth and happiness, and may all your wishes come true.
  • On your special day, dear girlfriend, I want to tell you that I love you more today than yesterday, and more tomorrow than today. Happy birthday, and may you be happy for your entire life.
  • May my love and blessings shine on your birthday like the sun, and may every day of your life be filled with sunshine and warmth. Dear girlfriend, I wish you a happy and healthy birthday, and may you always be beautiful and charming.
  • I am willing to devote all my time and energy to make every day of yours filled with love and happiness. Dear girlfriend, I wish you a happy birthday and eternal youth and beauty.
  • Dear girlfriend, may you feel my love and warmth on your special day. I will always be by your side, giving you happiness and joy. Happy birthday, and may all your wishes come true.
  • I like being with you because you are my sunshine and happiness. On your special day, may all your heart’s desires come true, and may every day of your life be filled with love and beauty. Happy birthday!
  • Every birthday is a new beginning. May you achieve your dreams and embrace new challenges in the coming year. Dear girlfriend, I wish you a happy birthday, and may all your wishes come true.

Chinese birthday wishes for sister

  • Dear sister, today is your birthday, and I wish you a happy birthday! May your birthday be filled with warmth and love, and may your dreams and hopes come true. You are my closest friend and the cutest sister, and I will always support you. May every day of your life be filled with laughter and sunshine!
  • Sister, you are my confidant and the source of my happiness. On your special day, I want to tell you that I love you, more than yesterday, and more than tomorrow. May you always have a healthy, happy, and beautiful life in the years to come.
  • Dear sister, may your birthday be as beautiful as you are. You are the little sun in our family, and we all love you very much. Wishing you a happy birthday and a lifetime of happiness!
  • Every year’s birthday is a new beginning, may you achieve your dreams and face new challenges in the coming year. I will support you anytime, anywhere. Wishing you a happy birthday and all the best!
  • May my love and blessings warm your birthday like sunshine, may every day of your life be filled with joy and happiness. Dear sister, wishing you a happy birthday and always stay young and beautiful!

Chinese birthday gift

For male friends with female recipients:

Female friends: When giving gifts to female friends, it is best to avoid overly intimate gifts. Simple handmade crafts, non-intimate jewelry, and food are good choices.

Girlfriend: If it’s your girlfriend’s birthday, it’s important to give her something she likes and create a warm environment for her. Generally, flowers, jewelry, and clothes are all good choices.

Elders or superiors: If the female recipient is an elder or superior, it is recommended to give meaningful gifts. Price is important, but the item must have a certain meaning to highlight the recipient’s identity. Generally, they will give tasteful handicrafts or something with meaning, such as a book.

For female friends with male recipients:

Male friends: When giving gifts to male friends, it is generally best to choose moderately priced, masculine gifts that are not too intimate, such as handmade crafts, food, or sports equipment.

Boyfriend: If it’s your boyfriend’s birthday, it’s important to give him something he likes and express your feelings. Generally, a belt, clothes, or a watch are good choices.

Elders or superiors: If the male recipient is an elder or superior, it is recommended to give a gift with substance. Price is important, but the item must have a certain meaning to highlight the recipient’s identity. Generally, tasteful handicrafts and meaningful items, such as a book, are good choices.

Chinese 1st birthday gifts

  • Clothing gift box: In summer, babies need to change clothes frequently, so when attending a baby’s first birthday party, you can choose a beautiful or handsome clothing gift box, which is practical and decent and will definitely make your good sister very happy.
  • Longevity lock: Longevity locks that symbolize health and safety are very popular baby’s first birthday gifts in China. In addition to the special, luxurious design, you can also customize exclusive blessings for the baby, making it a very thoughtful gift.
  • Walking aid: Every baby’s development is different, so you can also send a trendy walking aid based on the needs of your sister’s baby. Although it may not reduce your sister’s burden much, it is still a very thoughtful gift.
  • Bathtub: Giving a baby a bath in summer can also be a headache for your sister, so at the baby’s first birthday party, you can also give her an inflatable bathtub, which can make the baby take a bath in a safer and more comfortable environment.
  • Educational toys: As a gift for a one-year-old baby, educational toys are also very popular, especially the building blocks that can cultivate the baby’s hands-on ability, which are the preferred gifts that can bring joy to the baby.

Chinese 50th birthday gifts

At the age of 50, people are generally considered to be elders, so when choosing birthday gifts for them, it’s important to consider their hobbies and what they may need in their daily lives. Here are some ideas:

  • If they are interested in health and wellness, consider giving them some traditional Chinese medicine ingredients or supplements.
  • An at-home massager can be a great gift to help them relax and relieve fatigue. It’s like having a personal masseuse on call whenever they need it.
  • Tea sets, tea leaves, or even dinnerware can make great gifts. During the Mid-Autumn Festival or when entertaining guests, these items can be especially appreciated by older generations.

Chinese 60th birthday gifts

  • The best gift for elderly people is one that can be put to use, making it the best choice. There are many options for gifts for the elderly, so choose according to your own financial situation and actual circumstances. The first choice for a gift for the elderly is a massage device. As their body is not as good as before, they may have many aches and pains, so giving them a massage device can help reduce the suffering caused by these ailments. Their blood pressure will gradually increase, so giving them a blood pressure monitor is also a good idea, so that they can monitor their health at any time.
  • You can also give some tea and tea sets. Some elderly people are interested in tea, so this is a gift that can be given to a male on his 60th birthday.
  • If it is a female’s 60th birthday, then a qipao or pearl necklace can be given.
  • The most direct way is to give a red envelope, which allows them to buy whatever they like if you are unsure of what they would like.

chinese birthday taboos

  • Birthday is the most important day of the year for everyone, and it’s best to celebrate during the day and avoid celebrating at night.
  • It’s best not to go far away from home on your birthday. If you have to go out, avoid climbing mountains, getting close to rivers or water, or walking alone in deserted places.
  • Stay away from construction sites and places where accidents are prone to happen.
  • There will certainly be many good friends who bring gifts on your birthday. Remember not to accept any clocks or watches, as it signifies the end of one’s life.
  • Avoid using foul language or saying unlucky words on your birthday. If you encounter any unpleasant incidents on the way, just keep going on your own path and don’t be curious to ensure safety.
  • It’s considered unlucky to celebrate birthdays with four people (including yourself). Having one more or one less person is better.
  • Don’t watch horror movies or play supernatural games on your birthday.
  • Wishing everyone a happy and safe birthday, and may your ship sail smoothly for many years to come.
  • It’s best not to harm any living creatures on your birthday, and releasing animals can help accumulate good karma.

Chinese birthday superstitions

Chinese culture has many superstitions surrounding birthdays. Here are some of them:

  • Avoid celebrating the 60th and 61st birthdays, as it is considered bad luck and associated with the Chinese zodiac cycle.
  • Avoid giving gifts in sets of four, as the pronunciation of the word “four” sounds similar to the word for “death.”
  • Do not give clocks or watches as gifts, as they symbolize time running out and may be interpreted as a sign of bad luck.
  • Avoid celebrating too early or too late. Celebrating too early is seen as tempting fate, while celebrating too late is associated with being forgetful or disrespectful.
  • Avoid wearing black or white clothing to a birthday celebration, as they are traditionally associated with mourning and funerals.
  • Don’t give sharp objects, such as knives or scissors, as gifts, as they are seen as bad luck and can “cut off” the relationship between the giver and receiver.
  • The Chinese believe that one’s zodiac year (i.e., the year of one’s birth sign) is an unlucky year, so one should be extra cautious and avoid big decisions during that year.
  • Do not celebrate with four people, as this number is associated with death.
  • Do not celebrate a birthday before the actual date, as it is believed to bring bad luck.
  • Celebrate a person’s 80th or 90th birthday in a big way, as it is believed to bring good luck and longevity.

Chinese birthday party

A Chinese birthday party is a celebration of a person’s life and achievements, and it is an important event in Chinese culture. The way a Chinese birthday party is celebrated may vary depending on the person’s age, social status, and preferences, but there are some common practices that are followed.

  • Firstly, the date and time of the party are carefully chosen based on the Chinese lunar calendar. The number “8” is considered lucky in Chinese culture, so many people will choose to celebrate their birthday on the 8th, 18th, 28th, or any other date that includes the number 8. The party is usually held in the evening and may include a dinner with family and close friends.
  • Secondly, the decorations used in a Chinese birthday party are often red and gold, which are considered auspicious colors in Chinese culture. Balloons, streamers, and banners with auspicious sayings are commonly used to decorate the party venue.
  • Thirdly, food is an essential part of a Chinese birthday party. A birthday cake is usually served, along with other traditional Chinese dishes such as noodles, rice, and dumplings. In some regions, a special dish called “longevity noodles” is served, which symbolizes long life.
  • Fourthly, giving gifts is an important aspect of Chinese birthday parties. Traditionally, red envelopes with money inside are given as a gift, as the color red is believed to bring good luck and fortune. However, other gifts such as jewelry, electronics, or other practical items may also be given.
  • Finally, a Chinese birthday party may also include traditional cultural activities such as playing traditional games, singing Chinese songs, and performing Chinese dances. The party may also feature a lion dance or dragon dance, which are traditional Chinese performances that are believed to bring good luck and fortune.

Overall, a Chinese birthday party is a celebration of life, family, and tradition, and it is a significant event that is steeped in symbolism and meaning.

what to wear to a chinese birthday Party

The dress code for a Chinese birthday party depends on the specific event and venue, as well as the host’s preferences. However, generally speaking, Chinese birthday parties tend to be more formal than casual, so it’s best to avoid overly casual clothing like shorts and flip flops. Here are some tips:

Dress modestly: Chinese culture values modesty, so avoid anything too revealing or flashy.

Wear red: In Chinese culture, red symbolizes good luck and happiness. Wearing something red, even just a small accessory, is considered auspicious for a birthday party.

Choose elegant attire: Opt for dressy, elegant attire like a cocktail dress or a nice suit. Avoid jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers.

Consider the venue: If the birthday party is being held at a fancy restaurant or banquet hall, dressier attire is appropriate. If it’s a more casual gathering at someone’s home, you can dress slightly more casually but still presentable.

Pay attention to the age of the birthday person: If the birthday person is older, it’s best to dress more conservatively and respectfully.

Ultimately, it’s always a good idea to check with the host or hostess about the dress code or any cultural customs related to clothing for the birthday party.

chinese birthday party decorations

Decorations for a Chinese birthday party can vary depending on the person’s age, gender, and personal preferences. However, there are some traditional decorations that are commonly used for Chinese birthdays:

Red: Red is a lucky color in Chinese culture and is often used for birthday decorations. You can use red balloons, streamers, banners, and tablecloths.

Peaches: Peaches are a symbol of longevity and good health in Chinese culture, and they are often used in birthday decorations. You can use peach-shaped balloons or hang peach-shaped decorations.

Chinese Zodiac: Each year in the Chinese zodiac is associated with an animal, and decorations featuring the zodiac animal of the person’s birth year are popular for Chinese birthdays.

Longevity noodles: Longevity noodles are a symbol of long life and are often served at Chinese birthday parties. You can use noodle decorations or create a noodle station where guests can make their own noodles.

Happy Birthday banners: Banners with the words “Happy Birthday” written in Chinese characters are a common decoration for Chinese birthdays.

Lanterns: Lanterns are a traditional Chinese decoration and can be used to create a festive atmosphere at a birthday party. You can use red lanterns or lanterns featuring the Chinese zodiac animal of the person’s birth year.

Flowers: Flowers are a popular decoration for many occasions in Chinese culture, and you can use flowers in various colors to create a festive atmosphere at a birthday party. Peonies, chrysanthemums, and lotus flowers are all popular choices.

Chinese birthday party games

Here are some fun Chinese birthday party games that you can consider:

Chopstick Relay: Divide the guests into teams and give each team a bowl of marbles or candies. The first player on each team has to pick up a marble using chopsticks, run to the other end of the room, drop it into a cup, and then run back to tag the next player in line. The first team to finish wins.

Lucky Draw: Have guests write their names on a piece of paper and put them in a bowl. Draw names one by one, and the person whose name is drawn has to answer a trivia question related to Chinese culture or history. If they answer correctly, they get a prize.

Chopstick Challenge: Have guests use chopsticks to transfer small objects like peanuts, candies, or beans from one bowl to another. The first one to finish wins.

Chinese Calligraphy: Provide guests with brushes, ink, and paper and ask them to write their names or a birthday wish in Chinese characters. You can display their artwork as decorations.

Mahjong: If you have guests who are familiar with the game, set up a table and play a few rounds of mahjong.

Chinese Knotting: Provide guests with colorful cords and teach them how to make Chinese knots. They can make a bracelet or a keychain as a party favor.

Remember, the games you choose should be age-appropriate and enjoyable for your guests. Happy planning!

Chinese birthday wine

In Chinese culture, it is common to drink certain types of wine during a birthday celebration. The most popular type of wine is called “Shaoxing wine”, which is a type of yellow wine made from fermented rice. It is often used in cooking, as well as for drinking.

Another popular wine for Chinese birthday celebrations is “rice wine”, which is similar to Shaoxing wine but with a higher alcohol content. It is usually consumed in small amounts as a toast to the birthday person.

In addition, red wine and other types of Chinese liquor such as baijiu may also be served at a birthday party, depending on the preferences of the host and guests. It is common to toast to the birthday person and wish them a long and healthy life.

pine tree and Chinese birthday

In Chinese culture, the pine tree is a symbol of longevity, and it is often associated with birthdays. The pine tree is a long-lived evergreen tree that is capable of surviving in harsh environments, and it is believed that it can bestow similar qualities on those who admire and appreciate it. It is a popular gift for someone celebrating their birthday, as it represents the wish for a long and prosperous life.

In addition, the number of pine needles on a branch is also significant in Chinese culture. A branch with five needles is believed to represent the Five Blessings (longevity, wealth, health, love of virtue, and peaceful death), while a branch with ten needles is believed to represent perfection and completeness. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see decorations featuring pine branches with five or ten needles at Chinese birthday celebrations.

Can a deceased relative celebrate his or her birthday in China?

Celebrating the birthday of deceased ancestors, known as “Yin Shou” in Chinese, is a traditional custom popular in the southern regions of China. It involves commemorating the 10th year birthday anniversary of the deceased elders by preparing longevity noodles, turtle-shaped cakes, peach-shaped buns, wine, and lighting candles and incense on a table, while wearing formal attire. Some people also burn ghost money and ghost clothes. In some areas, people visit the graves of their ancestors to offer sacrifices such as animal sacrifices, rice wine, longevity noodles, red turtle cakes, and red peach cakes on the deceased person’s birthday, and burn paper clothes and money. This practice reflects the ancient ritual of “treating the dead as if they were alive”.

birthday after death is called

“Mingshou”, also known as “Yinshou”, refers to the birthday of a deceased person. Celebrating the birthday of deceased grandparents, parents, and ancestors is called “Mingqing”. It is a custom derived from the practice of celebrating the birthdays of living people. In terms of its nature, it is a filial piety and commemorative activity for the ancestors of a family or a clan, aimed at “paying respect to the dead and cherishing the living” and adding glory to the family. Mingshou can be held either at home or in a temple. There is no repentance ceremony at home. The water and land Dharma assembly can be held for one to three days or seven days, depending on the circumstances, with the last day being the most important. The most solemn ceremony involves inviting forty-nine monks to recite sutras and offer repentance for forty-nine days. After the ceremony, the commemorative tablet can be placed in the fundamental hall of a temple to continue receiving incense offerings.

chinese birthday ending with 9 is bad

In Chinese culture, the numbers 4 and 9 are often considered unlucky because they sound similar to words that have negative connotations. For example, the word for “four” sounds similar to the word for “death,” while the word for “nine” sounds similar to the word for “suffering” or “torture.” Therefore, some people believe that birthdays ending in 4 or 9 are bad luck. However, not all Chinese people believe in this superstition, and it is ultimately up to personal belief and interpretation.

birthday of ancient Chinese emperors

The custom of celebrating birthdays gradually spread from the bottom to the top of society and even influenced the imperial court. In the third year of the Ren Shou era (603 AD) of the Sui dynasty, Emperor Wen issued an edict stating that on his birthday, June 13th, the whole country should refrain from killing animals and eat only vegetarian food to repay the kindness of his parents.

In the Tang dynasty, Emperor Taizong designated his birthday as “Descended Birth Festival,” elevating the personal celebration to a national-level festival and institutionalizing it. One year, on his birthday, Emperor Taizong told his brother-in-law, Changsun Wuji, “Today is my birthday, and it is said that birthdays bring happiness. I am deeply moved by this feeling!” Overwhelmed with emotion, he shed tears.

Emperor Taizong was a sentimental person and had a special attachment to his birthplace, the Qing Shan Palace. He visited the palace twice, in the ninth month of the Zhenguan era (632 AD) and the eleventh month of the Zhenguan era (642 AD), leaving behind two poems, “Visiting Qing Shan Palace on the Occasion of My Military Merit” and “Revisiting Military Merit,” expressing his nostalgia for his birthplace. Although he did not mention Descended Birth Festival, it is evident that he attached great importance to his birthday.

Following Emperor Taizong, Emperor Xuanzong expanded the influence of birthday celebrations. In the seventeenth year of the Kaiyuan era (729 AD), he held a birthday banquet at the Hua’e Tower, and “the hundred officials suggested that August 5th of each year be designated as the Qianqiu Festival, and that the princes and officials below offer gold mirrors and jade bottles filled with imperial nectar.”

The Hua’e Tower, where Emperor Xuanzong held his banquet, was located in the Xingqing Palace and served as the center of diplomatic affairs and feasting in the Tang dynasty. It was also the main entertainment venue for Emperor Xuanzong and his consort Yang Guifei, and was renowned as the “Number One Tower in the World.” Prime Minister Xue Yao and Left Minister Zhang Shuo petitioned to have August 5th designated as the Qianqiu Festival, with the meaning of “lasting for a thousand generations,” and to use it to wish the emperor long life.

Emperor Xuanzong liked the proposal very much, and “ordered it to be promulgated throughout the country.” The decree stipulated that August 5th of each year should be designated as the Qianqiu Festival, and “all the states of the country should hold feasts and celebrations, and take three days off.” From then on, the emperor’s birthday became a national festival, with the whole country celebrating together. It can be said that the emergence of the Qianqiu Festival broke with tradition and became a “national day” in the feudal imperial system.

Influenced by the Tang Dynasty, the emperor’s birthday became an important ceremonial system in the Song Dynasty. The emperor’s birthday had different names, such as “Changchun Festival”, “Qianming Festival”, “Shounin Festival”, “Chengtian Festival”, “Qianyuan Festival”, but it was essentially a celebration of the emperor’s birthday. On this day, people celebrated together and the scene was grand.

Unlike the Tang Dynasty, the Song Dynasty emperor also paid attention to the birthdays of his ministers. Ministers were expected to hold banquets on their birthdays, and they would publicly eat noodles and wish for longevity. The emperor would also give various rewards to his ministers on their birthdays, such as rice, wine, and meat. In the fifth year of the Zhenghe era (1012 AD), when the prime minister Wang Dan celebrated his birthday, Emperor Zhenzong granted him “thirty sheep, fifty jars of wine, twenty hu of rice and flour, provided tents and music for the occasion, and allowed him to hold a banquet for his friends and relatives.”

The tradition of celebrating birthdays in the central plains also influenced ethnic minorities. During the Jin Dynasty, “the emperor’s birthday was designated as the Tian Shou Festival.” According to the “History of Yuan”, “when the emperor’s birthday fell in August, it was called the Holy Tian Shou Festival.” The birthdays of ethnic minority emperors were no less lively and grand than those in the central plains. During the Yuan Dynasty, the courtiers even used “longevity of tens of millions of years” as their congratulatory words, which was an exaggerated expression, like an emoji.

Unlike other emperors’ birthdays that were filled with festivities, the birthday of Ming Emperor Yingzong Zhu Qizhen was quite unique. In the year 1449, during the eighth month, Zhu Qizhen, influenced by eunuch Wang Zhen, personally led an expedition to the Tumu Fortress and was ambushed by the Mongolian Wala tribe. He was captured and later given preferential treatment by the Wala.

On November 21, which happened to be Zhu Qizhen’s birthday, the Wala killed a horse for him and a feast was held with continuous singing and dancing. The Wala were concerned that Zhu Qizhen may not be accustomed to living in a yurt, so they specially built a tent for him. It is truly unimaginable that a rival would celebrate one’s birthday, and this is unprecedented in history. “People love him, flowers bloom for him” is not just a saying.

The birthday of Qing Emperors was called the “Ten Thousand Longevity Festival,” meaning endless longevity. Prior to the festival, officials prepared longevity gifts around the themes of blessings, longevity, and good fortune, including handicrafts such as jade, wood carvings, porcelain, jewelry, and gold ornaments. On the day of the Ten Thousand Longevity Festival, officials presented the gifts to the Emperor in the Forbidden City.

After the ceremony, the Emperor hosted a banquet for the officials. The banquet consisted of 20 hot dishes, 20 cold dishes, four soups, four side dishes, four fresh fruits, 28 candied fruits and preserves, and 29 pastries and noodles, totaling 109 dishes. The dishes included pork, deer, lamb, chicken, duck, fish, and other meats, supplemented with delicacies such as mushrooms, bird’s nests, and fungus. The banquet was set up at noon and began in the afternoon, lasting four hours until late afternoon.

In the 20th year of Emperor Guangxu’s reign (1894), the actual ruler of the Qing dynasty, Empress Dowager Cixi, celebrated her 60th birthday. Prince Li was in charge of the overall celebration and planned to spend 30 million taels of silver to celebrate her birthday. In addition to decorating the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace, they also planned to build altars, stages, palaces, and archways along the road from Xihua Gate to the Summer Palace, organize monks to chant sutras, and theater troupes to perform, all to create a festive atmosphere.

chinese celebrate birthdays before or after

In China, it is common to celebrate a person’s birthday on the actual day of their birth, which is considered the most important day. However, some people may also choose to celebrate before or after the actual date, depending on their schedule or personal preference. Additionally, in traditional Chinese culture, it is believed that a person’s age increases on Chinese New Year rather than on their actual birthday, so some people may choose to celebrate their “Chinese age” instead of their actual age.

lucky number Chinese birthday

In Chinese culture, certain numbers are considered lucky or auspicious while others are considered unlucky. The most lucky number for birthdays in Chinese culture is the number 8, as it sounds similar to the word for prosperity and wealth in Chinese. The number 9 is also considered lucky as it sounds like the word for longevity.

On the other hand, the number 4 is considered unlucky as it sounds similar to the word for death in Chinese, and is best avoided for birthday celebrations or any other occasions.

Chinese birthday VS Chinese new year

In Chinese culture, the Lunar New Year is the most important holiday of the year. It is celebrated with family gatherings, special foods, and traditional customs that are thought to bring good luck and fortune for the coming year.

For those born during the Lunar New Year, their birthday is celebrated on the same day as the holiday. However, the celebration is often combined with the New Year festivities and may not be as prominent as a standalone birthday celebration. It is also common for people born during the Lunar New Year to celebrate their “official” birthday based on the Gregorian calendar on a different day, usually one month before or after the Lunar New Year.

In some families, a special tradition called “hongbao” is observed for those celebrating their birthday during the Lunar New Year. Red envelopes containing money are given as a symbol of good luck and prosperity. This tradition is similar to the practice of giving hongbao during the New Year, which is believed to bring good fortune to the receiver.

The Chinese count their age from the first day of the lunar new year, which means that everyone gets a year older after the New Year’s Eve. Therefore, there is a certain meaning of age in the traditional Chinese New Year celebration. Usually, people still prefer to celebrate their birthdays based on the lunar calendar. Therefore, everyone can have two birthdays, one based on the lunar calendar and one based on the Gregorian calendar. Because the Chinese lunar calendar is a revised moon calendar, which is related to the lunar cycle, the corresponding date of the lunar birthday varies every year on the Gregorian calendar.

In conclusion, a Chinese birthday is an important celebration of one’s life and is deeply rooted in Chinese culture and traditions. It is a time for families to come together, share a meal, and celebrate the person’s achievements and milestones.

reference:

生日祝福语 (Birthday Greetings)
各地生日习俗 (Birthday Customs Around the World) – Sourced from Qingming Network, referenced on March 24, 2015.
佛教流行和中国人开始过生日之间有何联系? (The Connection Between the Popularity of Buddhism and the Start of Birthday Celebrations in China) – Sourced from China News Network, referenced on April 14, 2021.

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