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Jan28 Le Petit Prince 2013
This first birthday party is so much fun, with amazing design detail as well as beautiful Korean tradition. We have featured another Korean birthday party and I already fell in love with some of their traditions and would like to implement into all first birthdays I help plan, even though I’m not Korean. We received some more fun cultural info about this party that I thought you might want to know, so here’s the event planner June with all her fun details:
Birthday Table (Dol Sang)
The parents prepare a special Tol table to celebrate the child’s birthday. The main food includes ddeok (rice cakes) and fruits. Over 12 different kinds of ddeok are prepared, including paekseolgi (white steamed rice cakes), susu-kyongdan (rice cakes coated with rough red bean powder), chapsal-ddeok or chal-ddeok, mujigae-ddeok (rainbow colored steamed rice cake), songp’yeon (half moon shaped rice cakes), injulmi (coated glutinous rice cakes), and gyep’i-ddeok (puffed air rice cakes). Among these, paekseolgi and susu-kyongdan are always included. Fruits can vary according to the season of the birthday. Different colors of seasonal fruits can be prepared and displayed in a row. Also, a bowl of rice, sea mustard soup, and many other various foods can be displayed.
Along with food, other items are needed for holding the Doljabee event. Items such as large bundle of thread, a brush, a Korean calligraphy set, pencil, book, money (10,000 won bills), bow and arrow (needle, scissors, and ruler for girls) are arranged on the table to predict the child’s future.
In this event, the birthday child goes around the table and picks up items that attract him or her. The child’s future is predicted according to what he or she grabs. After placing the child in front of the table, the child’s father becomes the guide for the child to go around the table and grab whatever he or she wants. The first and second items the child grabs are considered the most important. Usually Korean parents place the items that they want the child to choose near to the edge of the table.
In the past, due to a lack of medical information, Korea’s seasonal temperature differences, and many childhood related diseases, the death rate for children was extremely high. Many children died before their first birthday. After the age of one year, the survival rate steeply increased, making this milestone a very happy one for the child’s parents. It has also been a custom to celebrate a child’s 100 day birthday (Baek-il) in most areas this birthday is less important than the Dol and any celebrations are smaller in scale.
Dol has two meanings in Korean. The most common meaning is a child’s first birthday. It can also be used as a generic description for birthdays: Chut-dol (first birthday), Du-dol (second birthday), Seo-dol (third birthday), etc.
Traditional Dol Celebration
The traditional celebration had four major components:
1) Praying and giving thanks
2) Making and wearing the birthday clothes
3) Preparing the table and performing the Doljabee
4) Sharing the food with guests and neighbors
In modern times, due to the improvements in medicine, the influence of Western culture, and modern industrialization, the Shamanistic reasons for the Tol celebration have been reduced. However, the event is still celebrated as a time of congratulations for the parents and family.
In the modern Dol, taking picture is an important part of the event. As many Korean homes are very small, many families rent a room in a banquet hall. The modern celebration includes the child’s parents greeting guests, lighting candles on a birthday cake, the Toljabee event, and a toast.
Event planing and Styling by Cana’s Miracle, LLC
Flowers by Cana’s Miracle, LLC
Photography by Story by Mia
Invitation by MKL Studio
Cake and cupcakes by Cakes by Christine NY
Cake topper and cupcake toppers by Mimicafe Union
Korean Ricecake by Yedang, NJ
Venue – The Modern