Baek-Il Get-together Saturday April, 30, 2006

23 04 2006

This saturday is Annabelle's 100th day of life.  Not so special by American standards, but by Korean standards, its definately a higher priority. 

 If you are in the area, please stop by and wish Annabelle a Happy 100th day. And have a bratwurst, too 🙂

 Article copied from: http://www.kisc.org/kti/issues/1999/1-2/koreana.html
In premodern Korea infant mortality was high because of a variety of diseases and other health problems that did not respond to herbal medicines. Newborn babies were treated with extra care in an effort to preserve their lives. This generally included taboos against visits by outsiders for the first 21 days of the baby's life, and not formally recognizing the new family member until it was fairly certain that the child was going to survive.

A long time ago it also became customary for families to wait until the 100th day to officially celebrate the birth of a new child with a baek Il (baek eel) or "100th Day Party," making this one of the most auspicious social events in Korean life. Relatives and close friends were invited to participate in the happy event. Baek il parties are still the custom in Korea, and continue to be one of the more important social events that take place regularly throughout the year. Many families, in fact, stage three baek il – one for the father's family, one for the mother's family, and another one for the father's school friends and work colleagues.

Baek il are marked by feasts that include a variety of special foods and drinks. Guests are expected to bring gifts. Families generally take platters of rice cakes and other specialities to their closer neighbors, who respond by bringing gifts for the infants. "100th Day Parties" are always occasions for taking numerous photographs that go into family albums. (In earlier times it was customary to take frontal pictures of baby boys in the nude as a public record of their maleness.) The second milestone in the life of a new baby is its first birthday. The first-year birthday party, or dol (dohl), represents the official "coming out" of the newest addition to Korean families. Families go all out to provide popular festive foods and make sure guests enjoy themselves. Children are usually dressed in traditional Korean attire (called Han bok, which means "Korean clothing") for this celebration. Their mothers, grandmothers, and sometimes other family members as well, may also dress in Han bok.

A special "floor table," piled high with traditional festive foods in colorful dishes, is set up for the child and the mother (who feeds the child and makes sure it doesn't knock things off of the table). One of the key events of dol parties is to place money, a pen, a piece of thread, and a book on a table in front of the birthday child to see which one it will pick up first as a way of predicting its future. According to old beliefs, what the child picks up first is an omen of its future. The money relates to wealth, the pen to writing, the book to scholarship, and the thread to a long life. Not surprisingly, most parents hope their child will go for the money. Relatives and friends who are invited to dol parties are expected to bring gifts. Among the most prized and most common gifts are gold rings (which in the past were an important hedge against a variety of disasters), clothing and toys.

On the 100th day after a child's first birthday celebration it is customary for families to make offerings of rice and seaweed soup to Samshin Halmoni (Sahm-sheen Hahl-mohn-ee), the "Grandmother Spirit," in recognition of the role that grandmothers have traditionally played in child-raising in Korea. The family, relatives and friends then celebrate by eating such traditional good-luck foods as red bean cakes and steamed rice cakes. On this occasion, male children are dressed in modernized traditional clothing and headgear that indicates they are unmarried. Female children wear traditional clothing and cosmetics.

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4 responses

23 04 2006
Joe

How many Baek il’s will you be planning, and which should I plan on attending? It’s interesting to see other cultures’ tradions being kept alive, and this one always made me think that Koreans know how to party, and don’t waste any time doin’ it. Of course the mexicans can always give them a run for their money.

25 04 2006
casademora

This should be the last one. We just had Eliana’s 2nd birthday party, so it seems like we have these things all the time.

1 05 2006
casademora

Thanks to those who were able to make it this weekend!

12 01 2007
Dermacia

Hey guys, this message board software this website runs on, is it something i can buy for my own website or is it propriatary?

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