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100 Day Celebration - A Korean Tradition with Universal Appeal

May 31, 2018

100 Day Celebration - A Korean Tradition with Universal Appeal

Celebrating your baby’s one year on earth is such an exciting time. In a blink of an eye, your child has gone from a beautiful newborn to a curious little one on the move - ready to take on the world. As parents, our baby’s 365th day on earth is a precious and important one, but per Korean tradition, 100 days is just as significant. 

A little over three months seems like no time at all in the life of a healthy newborn, but historically, families in Korea saw 100 days was a critical milestone. Before the advent of more advanced medical knowledge and resources, childhood diseases were very prevalent and many babies did not survive past 100 days. In order to build up their immunity and for mothers to fully recover, babies were kept indoors away from family, friends, and neighbors until they reached the 100 day mark.

And on that 100th day, Korean families would celebrate this milestone that they believed to be a point at which the baby could be safely introduced to the world, and where their community could come together to rejoice the meeting of their new member. This celebration called ‘baekil' has been passed down for hundreds of generations, and is still widely observed among Korean families. Baek is the Korean word for one hundred, but is also the Korean word for white, which is why a white color scheme is often integral to the festivity’s design.

Of course, a celebration of life and continued health for your little one wouldn’t come without some unique customs. Like most celebrations (or at least the best ones), food is served to all the guests who attend. White rice cakes - called baekseolgi - are the most noteworthy items. The sweetened rice cakes are passed out among all of the guests, symbolizing the spread of health, love, and prosperity for the baby. Traditionally, these rice cakes would be handed out to one hundred people with the belief that this gesture would protect the child’s life. If you decide to observe Baekil and don’t have one hundred attendees, handing out the rice cakes to each of your guests is just as symbolic!

If you’re familiar with Korean culture, you know that the main head table is an important piece in the celebration, so adorn it by embracing the white color scheme with the inclusion of white cakes, roses, balloons, and other decorative elements. The main head table is also traditionally utilized for placing symbolic items such as photos, colorful dishes, fruits, toys, and a wealth of traditional decorations that may be included to represent the continued growth, health, and prosperity of the 100 day old baby.

Start preparing for your baby’s 100 Day Celebration by shopping our favorite products for this unique occasion! (link to a shopify collection with products specially curated for 100 day - this can be accessible exclusively through a link in the article & on search so it’s not a static button on the page)

Looking for the perfect gift for a friend’s 100 Day Celebration for their new family member? Check out our gift box especially curated for newborns who are in the 3-6 month age range. 

Recipe for baekseolgi - traditional rice cakes

From my parenthood to yours,

Soo-Jin





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