Our little dragon’s first birthday “choosing ceremony”
An actual post on Vegan8Korean! It’s horrible how long we go between posts nowadays. I’m going to blame our son, because he is too young to defend himself! 😉 So it is fitting to post a long overdue post about a Korean tradition, the “choosing ceremony” or 돌잡이.
Long, long ago, before his first birthday, I shared a post about his 100th day celebration. That was a fun celebration with lots of food and friends, but we really went all out for this first birthday. We cooked some of our own food, but also ordered some vegan japchae and a few other dishes from one of our local Korean restaurants as we had so many guests in attendance. We even baked a three-tier birthday cake since we don’t have any vegan bakers nearby, and topped it with a teddy bear shaped cake that Tevyn got to eat by himself!
Tevyn wore the hanbok his 할머니 sent over from Korea because we definitely had to have him in traditional clothes for his choosing ceremony. The choosing ceremony is done on the first birthday. You set out a variety of items around the child that symbolize different prophecies for the child’s life. Whatever item the child chooses, foretells what his life will be like.
For example, paper money is one item that is set out and symbolizes that the child will be wealthy if it is chosen (a popular choice for Korean mom’s to root for!). Rice also represents wealth. Rice cakes represent good health and luck. Toy swords or bow and arrows represent a successful career in the military. Books, scrolls, and calligraphy brushes or pen and paper represent the child being a scholar. Long noodles and yarn or string represent a long life. Grains of rice represent Finally, there is what Tevyn chose:
After considering the bow and arrow, he grabbed tightly onto the dried Korean dates (he eats very well). The dates represent that he was have plentiful and strong offspring. Our neighbor, who has a daughter a little older than Tevyn took this as meaning we have a little Casanova on our hands and promptly declared that he was going to keep an eye on the two of them from now on. In reality, it is less about his powers of romance and more a forecast that our little dragon will be bringing some more vegans into the world down the road!