Dol Jan Chi – Korean First Birthday

So I told you that I was already planning our baby’s first birthday, right? Well, here’s why. Our little boy is a “halfie” or “hapa” kid, (half Korean, half Caucasian). In Korean culture, the first birthday, or Dol Jan Chi, is a pretty big birthday. Even though we live in the San Francisco Bay Area, our resources are still slim. There ain’t no K-town here like there is in Los Angeles. So, the planning begins now because I believe we’re gonna be doing a lot of DIY-ing. Plus, we’re not loaded, so DIY is best for us!

The image above represents a pretty traditional Dol Jan Chi. The head table is the main attraction with Dol towers, rice cakes (duk), and fruit. The baby of the hour will be dressed in a hanbok, a traditional Korean outfit. There is a fun ritual where the parents place items like a pencil, book, thread, rice, and money, in front of the baby. Whatever the baby picks up tells you the future procession of the child. (We’ll be laying out the bid wad of money and stethoscope… haha!)

Now check out these modern Dol’s. People go all out for these things. Yeah, it can be a big deal… no joke.

OoooooKaaaay now, so we’re not gonna be that elaborate. But gosh darnit, I want it to look good!  And yes, there are plenty of people who do these at home and keep it low key. I just wanted to show how BIG these can get. We’ll be playing it cool at my relative’s house. I’ll be making the invitations, raffle tickets, cupcakes, cake, Dol towers, and eeesh, whatever else.   I have laughed and cried while learning Photoshop.  I have torn my hair out looking for Dol towers, (which we really will be making).  I did mention that I signed up for a cake decorating class, right?  Stay tuned in the months ahead! I’m sure I’ll be ranting and raving about my failures and accomplishments.


9 thoughts on “Dol Jan Chi – Korean First Birthday

  1. I really wanted to do this for my daughters 1st birthday, but it just wasn’t in the cards (she is only 1/8 Korean = Korean/Black/Hispanic from me and Filipino/White from dad) but it turned out to be way to much work in not that much time. A fellow mommy blogger friend of mine did her sons and I just have to say WOW. it can get really elaborate and expensive (but what 1st birthday isn’t right?) I look forward to seeing your updates on this. I want to take a cake class as well! you have to post pictures and info when you go.

  2. What a beautiful mix! Your daughter is so cute!

    I get many raised eyebrows from people when I tell them that I’m already planning our son’s 1st birthday. They probably have never been to a Dol. Oh well, who gives, right? I can do what I want! ha!

    No really, we’ll have to do a lot of it ourselves. I’m excited about it and this will be the one or two times that I’LL get to choose the theme.

    • I can’t believe it took me this long to find this comment! Hey people, check out:

      They put on beautiful events for 1st Dol birthday parties. I’m sure that they would do an awesome job doing other events as well! But it looks like you have to be on the East Coast. Too bad for us West coasters… and everyone in between.

  3. Ok so this is like a year late in responding but this was a good read. Because I live in San Jose and you’re right that there aren’t many places here that do dol parties…the kind where the venue, food and stuff are all taken care of. Not like LA. My daughter’s dol is in a few days and I am a nervous wreck!

    • I hope things are coming together for you! Remember to try and have a good time at the party. Easier said than done, but this is one event that you will want to be a participant of!

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