Ritual – Chinese


Every birthday the subject eats either a meal of noodles or one single noodle. The noodle symbolizes good luck for the upcoming year. The subject’s mother also practices this ritual on her own birthday as well as the subject’s grandmother. The subject say’s that she learned the ritual from her mother and that the ritual stems from a “Chinese tradition rooted in one [their] staple foods.”

The ritual of eating noodles is very important to the subject in that she has repeated the ritual every year since the age of three. To prove this point, during my conversation with the subject she remembered that she had forgotten to eat a noodle on her birthday (just two days prior). She immediately prepared Ramen noodles and ate them.

When asked if she actually believed that something bad would happen to her if she did not eat a noodle/noodles on her birthday she said no but she has not gone through a birthday before without eating noodles and would “rather not risk it.”

It is also important to note that the variety of noodle does not matter (i.e. egg noodles, spaghetti, rice noodles, glass noodles, etc.) According to the subject, it is the act of eating anything “noodle like” on one’s birthday that is important. Upon further research the length of the noodles can also be a factor in whether the person will live a long life.