First Birthday Party, Korean Style

Jason proudly sported pink pants and floral jacquard as part of his hanbok

The grapes served as both decor and a snack.

After initially reaching for the sack of money, Jason selected a golf ball in the doljabi ceremony. The doljabi is supposed to be a predictor for the future. A traditional doljabi presents a baby with the choice of rice (always enough to eat), thread (a long life), money (wealth), and a pencil (wisdom). Jason's doljabi had modern elements like a microphone (entertainer), stethescope (doctor), and golf ball (athlete).

Aiden and Aunt Paula sang at the party. Uncle Dwight gave a short message.

Family portrait with grandparents. The two stands next to the candles contain colorful rice cakes.

We celebrated Jason’s first birthday with our family at Poonglim in Ft. Lee, NJ. Photographs and table decor by Studio Berry.


About Beth

Wife, mother of 2, worker bee - striving to balance roles and continually learn
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12 Responses to First Birthday Party, Korean Style

  1. Happy 1st birthday! Thank you for sharing this beautiful tradition with us 🙂

  2. The Waiting says:

    I always really loved the 1st birthday celebrations when we lived in Korea. As a teacher, I was often included in the celebrations of my students’ younger siblings’ birthdays. I still have a lot of the favors from their parties! Jason is simply adorable and regal in his hanbok.

    Did you make the rice cakes?

    • Beth says:

      The 1st birthday celebration is a lot of fun – I love the Korean traditions. I can’t claim credit for the pretty rice cakes – all food was catered. I’m not sure whether rice cakes are commonly made at home. Jung’s mom, an excellent cook and my guide for all things Korean, always purchases and never makes them from scratch. The first time I had a rice cake was a surprise and disappointment. It was rolled in black bean powder. I took a huge bite, expecting chocolate. Instead, I had a chewy mouthful of pulverized rice with a earthy flavor.

      • The Waiting says:

        That was my exact same experience with them the first time I had them!! I expected chocolate and it was black bean! To be honest I never loved them either. Whenever someone gave them to me I would give them to my husband because he liked them a lot. In return I always ate his kimchi 🙂

  3. Barbara @ Just Another Manic Mommy says:

    beautiful photos and hey how about posting some korean food recipes! we actually made kimchi once 🙂

    • Beth says:

      So impressed that you made your own kimchi! My favorite kimchi is one made with bok choy – yummy. My Korean cooking skills are limited to cooking already prepared foods from the Korean grocery store, so no recipes from me. My mother-in-law brings food with her when she visits, waking up early in the morning to cook.

      • Barbara @ Just Another Manic Mommy says:

        Oh I love bok choy…sounds yummy. You should have your mother in law do a guest post 🙂

  4. shoes says:

    Beautiful pictures. A very happy first birthday to your little guy.

  5. dogear6 says:

    How cool! Thanks for sharing. I loved seeing all of them.

  6. Super cool. And I love all of the colors in the pics!

    • Beth says:

      Koreans are not afraid of bright colors. I picked the backdrop before seeing Jason’s hanbok (his great aunts in Korea sent it). I was so glad that the hanbok matched the backdrop.

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