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Birthday

For the baby, the first birthday is celebrated with a feast, and the traditional gift from the parents to the child is a gold ring. It is also traditional for the child to foretell their future. Various items, such as a pen, book, or coin, are placed around the child or in a basket in front of them. The item the child touches first tells what profession he or she will have. Some feed the child a few long noodles to symbolise the solid foods the child is not yet capable of eating regularly, while others use yu char kuei, a long bread. Because the 'Queen Mother of the West'( the supreme goddess in the heaven) is said to grow longevity peaches of immortality in her garden, peach-shaped buns with a sweet paste of red bean or lotus at their hearts make appropriate gifts, as well as charms, red-dyed eggs, toys and clothing decorated with the guardian tiger, and the red envelopes of cash. Many birthday children are given a new set of clothing prior to the special day.

In Chinese culture, the 60th birthday is a landmark life event and worthy of celebration. There are very specific symbols and traditions associated with a 60th birthday. Officially, it is the first birthday to be marked by pomp and ceremony during a lifetime. Celebrations also highlight subsequent decades, starting from the 70th birthday.  When old people celebrate their birthdays, families and friends love to use the porcelain or drawings of 'Shou Xing Gong' as gifts. According to Chinese folklore, 'Shou Xing Gong', the God of longevity, is described as wise, knowledgeable and capable of ruling the world. During festivals, a Chinese family normally worships the symbols or pictures of Longevity to express gratitude for granting the elders in the family a long life. Pictures of Shou were often drawn on birthday cakes to embody the filial wish that family elders or birthday person might live as long as the legendary mountains of the south, with health and good fortune to match.

 

The longevity noodles are an indispensable dish in birthday celebration dinner. Since noodles are long and continuous in shape, it symbolizes good health and longevity to have noodles in one’s birthday. While enjoying the noodles, try not to break off the noodle you are picking up, since the longer it is, the longer it suggests your life will be.
 
'Shou Xing Gong' is usually depicted holding a peach, which is the divine fruit of the gods, allowing them to live forever, therefore making Sau Tou/Peach Buns is a must for longevity celebration. 
 
Guests should avoid giving gifts such as shoes or intimate wear, however; or any of the many other gifts which are associated with misfortune either through a similarity of sound or by the manner of their use (such as a handkerchief). Never give a timekeeping device, such as a watch. The words relating to clocks and timekeeping sound very similar to those for seeking death. Many legends tell of those who died the day after having been given such a gift.