Though we may
celebrate our birthdays yearly, the first major birthday celebration for the Peranakans is
held on their sixtieth birthday. The number sixty may have been chosen because of the
sixty-year cycle which is based on the Chinese lunar calendar.
Besides other Peranakan dishes,
noodles are often served as a special birthday dish as noodles signify longevity. Also, it
is customary for the birthday person to give their offsprings and other related family
members an ang-pow (red packet) each, upon receiving birthday wishes (a standard greeting
wish would be for longevity).
Even in the modern society of today, some of
these practices are still observed. Birthday noodles are still served as a birthday dish
at home and even in certain Peranakan restaurants.