#28ChineseMemories Day 1: Lunar Birthdays

I had a hard time trying to figure out the hashtag for this month’s theme, but I knew that I wanted February to be about my Chinese heritage and memories from my childhood of being raised in a bi-cultural household. Since I had a great time blogging last month about life lessons learned so far, I figure I will continue with daily blog posts and monthly themes. Let’s see how this one goes…

(By the way, my birthday went well! Was surprised that I had an unplanned party at lunchtime!)

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Yummy noodles to eat on a lunar birthday! Image credit to tiverylucky at freedigitalphotos.net
Yummy noodles to eat on a lunar birthday! Image credit to tiverylucky at freedigitalphotos.net

I am not sure when my parents first told me about lunar birthdays, but within the past ten years I became more interested in learning each year when my lunar birthday was.

My parents follow two calendars: our Gregorian calendar and the lunar calendar, which is used primarily these days to determine holidays and festivals, such as the Lunar New Year. When my siblings and I were born, our parents (and relatives and grandparents) knew our lunar birth date and noted that date for future reference.

Every year since birth, though, my parents have told me that it’d be “very difficult” for any of ¬†us to keep track of our own lunar birthdays since some years there are thirteen months in the lunar calendar.

So I always ask my mom, every year in January: when is my lunar birthday?

This year, it just so happened that my lunar birthday fell on January 30th, the day before my actual birthday. My mom said to me, “It is very rare for your lunar birthday to be so close to your actual birthday!” How lucky that it also happened to be my 30th birthday!

Traditionally on lunar birthdays, my parents tell me to go out and eat noodles, which symbolize long life; a hard-boiled egg, which symbolizes fertility and good health; and chicken, which symbolizes love (please don’t quote me on these interpretations, since at the moment, I don’t quite remember my parents’ words on these symbols and online research is not yielding much information).

I hope to soon learn the lunar calendar so I can calculate my future lunar birthdays and for my future children.