Thursday, August 28, 2008

Jaime's First Birthday And ZhuaZhou

27th August, 2008 saw our baby turn one year old. We celebrated in a mix of Chinese and Western cultures and 'old and new' traditions. I also took the opportunity to take a well-deserved vacation day away from the office.


- Visit to the Singapore Zoo
- Opening Birthday Presents
- ZhuaZhou Ceremony - 抓周
- Birthday Party


After a very early start, the day started with a visit to Singapore Zoo at 80 Mandai Lake Road. We've been living here almost two years, and had not previously taken the opportunity to visit what is regarded as one of the world's Top 10 zoos... and it's so close to home at Woodlands.

Anyway, we were not disappointed... the variety of animals and size of the park were to amaze us. Singapore should be very proud.

Unfortunately, after a very 'sleepless' night due to teething, the birthday boy only enjoyed about 1/3 of the zoo, before sleeping in comfort in his pram (protected from the pouring rain)... Mum and Dad still had a great time though!! :p

Here is a TV commercial that can also be found on the Zoo's website.


Once we arrived home from the zoo, it was time to madly prepare for the evening's party. But in between the preparations, Jaime opened presents he'd received from his Grandparents in Shanghai, China and Brisbane, Australia.


Zhuazhou is regarded as one of the most important customs on a child's first birthday anniversary. As a traditional, long-time custom in China, Zhuazhou is essentially a test where parents place an assortment of articles in front of their child to choose from to determine his or her future inclination and capabilities. The earliest written record of this custom can be traced back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279). - ChinaCulture.Org

The articles we chose and meanings we associated with them (some traditional, others are own interpretation):

Shoes - represents a Traveller
Paint Brush - represents an Artist or Writer
Spring Onion - represents a Lawyer (or someone clever and adept in speaking)
Orange - represents someone with Good Luck - or getting things with little effort
Software CD - represents Computers (eg. programming, computer engineering, etc)
Book - represents a Scholar or Teacher
Chopsticks - represents Epicure and also the Food or Restaurant Industry
Calculator - represents a Scientist or Engineer
Money - represents an Entrepenaur or Stock Broker
Rubber Stamp - represents a Politician or association with the Government
Mobile Phone - represents the Telecommunications industry or an Electrical Engineer
Pocket Knife - represents a Strong Body (eg. Sportsman, the Army or Police Force)
Tape Measure - represents an Architect
BP Monitor - represents a Doctor or Medical related field
Sunglasses - represents a Movie Star or Celebrity

We found that Jaime was probably more interested at first in the video camera recording him - maybe this represents the film industry?? Anway, after a little coercian, he made it clear which items he was not interested in, by throwing them away.

The article/s he showed most interest in, were first and foremost the money, then perhaps the orange and finally the shoes (near the end of the selection). From this, we deduced that his future path may be something like this:

"A successful entrepenaur who will have much luck and assitance in creating his own business/es, and his dealings will lead to (or include) much global travel."

Video of Jaime's ZhuaZhou:


We finished the day off with a small party and invited our good friends the Yong Family. As well as singing happy birthday in both English and Chinese, we all enjoyed massive amounts of Pizza, Chicken Wings, Lollies and other Munchies... as well as a wonderful ice-cream cake we had delivered from Swensons (mango and stick chocolate flavours).

By the end of the night, Jaime was covered head-to-toe in chocolate, and was practically falling asleep with his head in cake. I think he had a great day (and then slept all night)!!!

Video of Jaime and his Cake:

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