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Birthday Celebrations.Net

Traditions from Around the World:

Birthday Celebrations from Korea

    In Korea, on the 100th day after a child's birth, a small feast is usually held to celebrate the child having survived this period. If the child has been unwell or is sick at this time, the family passes the day without acknowledgement nor party for to do so is considered bad luck for the infant.

    At this time the Samshin Halmoni is honored with offerings of rice and soup for having cared for the infant and mother, for helping them to live through a difficult period. The family, relatives, and friends then celebrate with rice cakes, wine, and other delicacies such as red and black bean cakes sweetened with sugar or honey.

    To prevent disaster and to bring the child luck and happiness, red bean cakes are placed at the four compass points within the house. They also believed if the steamed rice cakes are shared with 100 people the child will have a long life. Therefore, rice cakes are usually sent to as many people as possible to help share the happiness of the occasion. Those receiving rice cakes do not return the serving vessels empty, but with skeins of thread expressing the hope of longevity, and of rice and money symbolizing future wealth.

    One of the most important birthdays in Korea is a child's first birthday. The children are dressed in special clothes and are taken in front of a large gathering of friends and family members. The celebration includes a big feast and the guests leave money for the new one-year old child. The child's future is told by the items the birthday child picks up.

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