When a person reaches an important age in his or her life, Koreans have unique celebrations to mark these milestones. The most common meaning is a child's first birthday or Doljanchi.It can also be used as a generic description for birthdays: Cheot-dol (first birthday), Du-dol (second birthday), Seo-dol (third birthday), etc.
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Traditionally, we hold several special milestone birthday parties for children and older people, such as baek-il, tol, hwan-gap, and gohee.
Baek-il is celebrated on the 100th day after a child’s birth.
Koreans would prepare the praying table with specific foods: a bowl of steamed white rice, seaweed soup (miyeok-guk) and a bowl of pure water.
Layered red bean rice cakes (samshin siru) were placed next to the prayer table.
They believe this event helps to protect the child’s life.
They also pray for the child’s continued good health.
Dol (doljanchi, or tol) is probably one of the best-known of the Korean birthday celebrations.
Dol is celebrated for the first birthday of a child.
This is the day for the men to give to the women, and on this day it is specifically sweets, or candy as Korean people like to say in Americanised English.