Ashley DuChene Photography ~ San Diego Photographer » San Diego Photography: Portrait and Commercial

Birthday Party: Doljanchi in San Diego

I was happy to photograph my fourth Dohl this past weekend.  Dol or doljanchi is a Korean tradition that celebrates the first birthday of a baby. This ceremony blesses the child with a prosperous future and has taken on great significance in Korea. The birthday babies wear a hanbok and a traditional hat: a jobawi or gulle for baby girls and a bokgeon or hogeon (호건) for baby boys.

 

Fortune telling ritual

The highlight of the dol is a ritual where the child is placed in front of a table of foods and objects such as string, brushes, ink and money. The child is then urged to pick up an object from the table. It is believed the one selected will foretell the child’s future. For example, if the child picks up a brush or book, he/she is destined to be smart. If he/she picks up money he will be wealthy; If he/she picks up food that means he/she will not be hungry. If the child picks up the thread, it is believed he/she will live a long life. The types of objects placed on the table for the baby to choose has evolved over time, as a reflection of society’s evolving perception of successful occupations. However, many parents remain more traditional in their selection of objects to place on the table. This is followed by feasting, singing and playing with the toddler. Most often, guests will present gifts of money, clothes, or gold rings to the parents for the child at this time.

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