Red Egg and Ginger Man Yue Party

My friends had a man yue celebration for their son this past weekend.  Man yue means full month in Mandarin and is a traditional Chinese celebration after the first month of the baby's birth.  It is a party for the proud parents to introduce their baby to their friends and relatives.  In the past, when infant mortality was high, the baby reaching one month of age was a reason for celebration and the belief that the baby was likely to survive.The party was held at Chinatown Brasserie, which reminds me a lot of Wong Kar Wai's In The Mood for Love.  Lots of dark wood and deep red lanterns.

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Man yue is also called the red egg and ginger party.

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Boiled eggs that have been dyed red are served to guests.  As in Chinese weddings and other festivals, the colour red represents happiness and good luck.

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In Chinese cuisine, the balance of yin (cold) and yang (hot) is important.  Ginger represents yang and is given to the mother, whose state has been weakened by giving birth.  My husband and I love pickled ginger, so we had no problem devouring this plate.  My yang was high!

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The food was delicious and I wish I had more pictures to share with you, but I sometimes get too excited as each course arrives and the camera gets forgotten as I pick up my chopsticks.  Here is the only picture I snapped of the yummy ribs.
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J is a total cutie pie.  Congratulations little one!  It was so fun celebrating with you.

Henna Turning Delicious

I learned about Creme-Delicious at the Martha Stewart Weddings Bridal Market Party.  Sandhya Patangay, a Henna artist with 12 years of experience under her belt, has branched out into cakes.  She uses her intricate designs on her cakes and they are a sight to behold.  The amount of work and effort that goes into every piece is obvious.  They are almost too pretty to eat, but I did taste a few and they were delicious.  A display of these would be an impressive dessert table at an event, or a sweet favour to take home.

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Images via Creme-Delicious

A Jewish Wedding

I had the pleasure of doing the month of coordination for a wedding where the bride and groom were clearly so much in love.  It was my first Jewish wedding and I was so touched by the many symbolic traditions that took place.  I did not understand the words that the Rabbi was singing as he walked down the aisle to begin the ceremony, but I do know that it was beautiful.

  • The Ketubah - While the guests were waiting for the ceremony to begin, a small ceremony took place behind the scenes with the Bride and Groom signing the Ketubah, the Jewish marriage contract.  The Ketubah specifies their mutual promises and commitments and is one of the oldest elements of a Jewish wedding.
  • The Chuppah - The marriage canopy under which the ceremony takes place.  It dates back to the Jewish nomadic days in the desert.  The temporary nature of its construction reminds one that the most important thing about a home is the people in it who love one another and choose to be together, to be a family.  Since the chuppah represents the couple's new home together, having no walls, it signifies that their home is open to all.  The couple integrated a tallis - a family heirloom - into the chuppah.
  • The Breaking of the Glass - Depending on whom you ask, you will get many answers for the meaning of this ritual.  It signifies the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.  It also serves as a reminder that the bonds of marriage are fragile and can easily be shattered.  The hope is that the breaking of the wedding glass will be the only thing shattered during the marriage.  It is the official signal to shout "Mazel Tov" and start the party!

Korean Wedding Ceremony

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My clients decided to have a Korean wedding ceremony a few days before their wedding as the bride's family is Korean.  It was so sweet to see the groom's family be so excited to learn new customs.  I was honoured to be part of a ceremony that included family and close friends.

My favourite part was when the groom gave the bride's mother a wild goose (now a wooden goose since a live one is hard to come by in Manhattan).  Wild geese mate for life, so this gift was a promise of his faithfulness.

A traditional ceremony takes place at the bride's family home.  In Manhattan you can find photography studios that are set up for the ceremony.  The ceremony takes place around a low table holding a variety of symbolic items.  To seal their vows the couple shared a special white wine poured into a gourd.  They also offered wine to their parents and bowed to them.  The bride offered gifts of dried dates to her in laws, symbols of children.  The parents offered her tea in return.  Lastly the parents threw the dates and the bride tried to catch them in her long skirt.

The wedding banquet included noodle soup.  Long noodles symbolizing a long and happy life.

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1.Image via Korean Arts  2.Photography by Ang Weddings and Events