Saturday, February 2, 2008

Korean First Birthday Party

A first birthday is a very significant event here in South Korea. In recent history (as of 50 years ago), the mortality rate for children was high and many did not survive to see their first birthday. So a first birthday is an important milestone to the Koreans and a reason to celebrate and celebrate big. We felt very honored to attend the first birthday party of one of Curt's (hubby) co-workers.

The celebration is usually held in a banquet hall and often in the same hall where the wedding reception was held. Koreans feel that this is a good time to reconnect with the married couple. The invitation said that the party was from 6:30 pm until 8:30 pm but we were told to come at 7:00 pm. We arrived and were quickly welcomed by the father and ushered to the buffet. The food was fantastic and they was so much to choose from. The photo above shows the mother and baby in the traditional Hanbok.

Little Hye-In didn't want to leave mommy.

She was such a cutie and quite the trooper with everything that was going on.

Picture with all of the co-workers.

Another picture with some of the co-workers.

Family pictures. Everyone say "KIMCHI!"

Daddy talking about his little girl.

Cutting the birthday cake with the largest knife I've ever seen. I thought it was a sword.

It is traditional that the child is presented with a tray of assorted items and the child picks one out and it will foretell their future. On this tray there was:
Microphone - she'll be a singer
Money - she will be wealthy
String - for long life
Computer mouse - she'll be a computer major
Pencil - she'll be a scholar
Bowl of rice - she'll have her needs met (food, shelter...)

After some time of contemplating, Hye-In chose the microphone. She'll be a singer.

I got to hold the baby! She was ready for bed and very tired.

They also had some door prizes and everyone had a number given to them as they entered the party. I was sitting with the family (that's where they put us) and family member's numbers were constantly drawn. Dad wasn't giving any prizes to family members so when it happened again, they threw the number at me and everyone said I won. They really wanted me to win, so up I went to collect my prize. It was a rice spoon and stirring spoon, both with spoon rests.

Everyone also went home with a parting gift. It was this towel with the baby's name and birthdate on it. We had a blast and it was all over by 8:15 pm.

Video highlights


Irishlace said...

Thanks for sharing. We have a Korean student in our ESL class. Will talk with her about the "First Birthday Party".

Like your gift. Very pretty. Great memories!

Helena said...

She is a cutie! I love the matching hanboks.

Here's what we did for Kate's Tol:

CreekHiker said...

Becky, It sounds like a lovely time. The baby is so cute!

Ann said...

What a beautiful family!
And such an adorable baby!
Thanks for sharing this with us, I absolutely love reading about your adventures there!

Becky said...

Irishlace: It was a grand time and I'm so glad we were invited.

Helena: Thank's for sharing. I think it would have been more interesting if they had done it like you instead of holding her over the tray.

Holly: The baby was adorable! I want one!!

Ann: Thank you so much my friend!

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