Birthdays in Korea

9 Jun

Another Saturday spent at the church of eternal baby worship. In Korea a baby’s dol is one of two major birthdays in their or any Koreans life. The second being their 60th birthday.Both birthdays are big deals because 1. Korea had a very high infant mortality rate and likewise many older people didn’t live past 60. All the other birthdays are greeted with limited fanfare if any. Don’t even get me started on the Lunar vs Solar (the day you actually came out of your mom) birthday. Lets put it this way. My fiancée’s solar b-day is April 1st so I sent his mom a picture of  him having a good time eating sushi to let her know I was “taking care of her precious son” (that’s a whole other post). And yes naturally she was very happy and I got an appreciative text back how ever she didn’t know what the special occasion was. Then a few weeks later his mom asked if we were doing anything special and because it was his *birthday* (lunar). A lot of Koreans especially the ones 30 or above only celebrate their lunar birthdays. i had friends I’ve said happy birthday to on Facebook be like – meh it’s not my real birthday. So confusing! But hey ho! 🙂

This was my second dol celebration and a very classy one at that! My first was for a co-workers baby and it was more an at home summer barbecue which was still awesome. My second was more on par with the traditional Korean wedding hall wedding. There were 3 other celebrations going on is the surround rooms all in varying shades of pastel. The buffet was pretty killer too ^^. My favorite was the light show music timed slide show. Very cute hahhaa. Like most holidays people bring money but for dols you usually bring a small gold ring. But if you do bring money it’s usually an odd multiple of ten (50 or over at least). Don’t forget the bills need to be PRISTINE and in a NICE wrinkle free envelope.

60th birthday can be done the same way fancy or casual. Ive see old women dressed up in their most shimmery hanbok dolled up to the nines, sometimes there are family trips or just a fancy meal with close family.

My fiancée and his brother paid for a family trip to to Jeju for their fathers 60th. His mother’s birthday will be coming up soon and she’s decided she wants a week in the mountains away from everyone hahaha smart woman. I’m still not sure what to get her~ probably a handbag (ga-bang/new vocabulary word of the day hahaha).

Below are some pictures of a fancy dol and a casual 60th birthday party(don’t be fooled that seafood was like $300 – it was sprinkled with gold after all o_O



the baby “dol” rings are in the back row of the first. My fiancee says the idea is that as the child gets older he/she can use the ring as money if they need it. None of these rings were especially cute. But I have seen Hello Kitty and Porroro ones on occasion ^^



IMG_20130713_124105 IMG_20130713_120035



The picture above is your typical dol gift. There is always almost something to eat -duk. But also a cute present like this towel, bit Ive also recieved umbrellas.

  Below is the typical casual 60th birthday celebration.



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