First Birthday & Doljabi

I was so excited when I was asked to cover this little guy’s first birthday celebration! His mom did a beautiful job on the decorations and planning; the party was both whimsical and sophisticated. My favorite detail was the toy animals wearing party hats! Traditional Korean food was served along with beautiful cakes from Publix.

In Korea, there’s a tradition called doljabi that occurs on a child’s first birthday. Objects are laid out on the floor and the child then crawls- or walks- towards them and selects one. It’s believed that the one they select will help predict their future. Prior to the doljabi, friends and family are invited to put their bets into bowls on which one the child will pick. This can get really loud with well-meaning family shouting encouragement and leave the baby in the middle of the floor in tears. However, the family reined themselves in and Mr. I successfully selected his item! He chose a ball, which is indicative that someday he’ll be an athlete.

This family made me feel more like a guest than a vendor. Every single person I met was warm and engaging and it’s obvious that this community deeply cares for one another. Happy first birthday Mr. I! May you grow up secure in the love of your amazing family…and someday score lots of touchdowns!

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