In Korea, on the 100th day after a child’s birth, a feast is prepared and the family has a small celebration for the baby’s health and the mother’s recovery from delivery. The number 100 has an inherent meaning of maturity and perfection, signifying a baby passes through a perfection period safely as a human being. People bring presents and congratulatory statements and wish for the baby’s health and blessing. Baek-il is one of two Korean traditions celebrating the passage of a baby from one age to another. In addition to celebrating a baby’s 100th day of life, another very important birthday is the first birthday, which Koreans call Dol. Both traditions stem from centuries ago when medicine and hygiene weren’t as advanced and the rate of infant mortality was much higher. Making it past the first 100 days was a sign that you’d live to see your first birthday, and making it past your first birthday was a sign that you’d make it out of infancy.
Here is where I would insert a photo of the cutest little Korean-American born to someone in my family this year, but I want to respect the parents privacy so you will just have to imagine Caleb the little cutie! As far as I know this is the first 100 day celebration in the family. I found it very interesting and I did a little research about this celebration. I am very happy to report the Mother, Father and baby are all doing well. The little video they shared was wonderful. Caleb wore his 100 days very well.
Hwangab is a Korean traditional way of celebrating one’s 60th birthday. The number 60 means accomplishing one big circle and starting another one in one’s life as the traditional 60 year calendar cycle of Korea.
In the past, average life expectancy was much lower than 60, so it also meant a celebration of longevity. The celebration party is also a wish for an even longer and prosperous life. This party is customarily thrown by the children of the one who is turning 60. On one’s Hwangab, family and relatives prepare a big birthday celebration with lots of food.
With the advent of modern health care this occurrence is much more common than it used to be. Many Koreans now take trips with their families instead of having a big party to celebrate their 60th birthday. Parties are also thrown when a person reaches 70 (called Gohi or Chilsun) or 80 (Palsun) years of age.
I also found more interesting information (thanks to Wikipedia) about celebrations for special birthday occasions, like turning 60. I Don’t think Caleb’s parents need to worry about this celebration for a while as they are what I refer to as a couple of youngsters. I guess now that they are parents, I need to upgrade them from youngsters to young adult parents. Great-Auntie Chris can not get over it. I am very happy for them and their little baby bundle that turned 100 days old. Best wishes to all the new parents out there!
I found a site (based in the US) dedicated to “everything” needed for the 100th day celebration…