ST Scroll Back on CNY birthdays: Ren ri, Jade Emperor and you’re older than you think

Yusheng from Peony Jade Restaurant styled for the Year of the Pig. The seventh day of the Chinese New Year is commonly referred to as “ren ri”, which is “everyone’s birthday” and is celebrated by eating yusheng here. PHOTO: PEONY JADE
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Dreading the comments of "concerned" relatives during Chinese New Year can make you feel like you've aged prematurely. But according to the Chinese way of reckoning your age, you're really older than you think.

In the Chinese culture, newborn babies are considered to be already one-year-olds. It is believed that a baby's age reckoned from its time in the mother's womb onwards. Compare this to Western or Westernised societies where the child is considered to be one only at the first anniversary of her or his birth.

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