The tradition and ceremony of a child's first birthday - called dol (also spelled dohl) - is very significant in Korean culture. In past times when death rates for children were high, sadly many babies did not live past their first birthday so it became an important milestone. The celebration is meant to bless the child with a prosperous future, and the highlight of the event is called the doljabi. During this ritual, the child selects from a row of objects placed before him/her. The object that he/she selects foretells the child's future. For example a thread symbolizes a long life; money means he/she will be wealthy; if they select food then he/she will not go hungry. The parents select from various traditional and sometimes unique objects. There's also raffles and games that parents will organize for other adults to participate in the doljabi. It's always fun seeing which object the baby selects.
Zach's dol was particularly unique in that his mom, Ally, completed most of the work herself, taking on a special DIY project for her son. Every hand-cut lettering, flower placement, and table decoration was a hard-earned investment she put into creating a beautiful event. Here she is inspecting the "dol sahng" (meaning first birthday table) before guests arrive.
The unique table settings were so adorable. We can't wait to show Ally how we incorporated them into the video/photo project!
The happy parents and the charming star of the show, Zach! Below you can see that the "Finding Nemo" theme carried over in every detail, including the color of the icing! Looks a little like Marlin's shade of orange to me.
Congratulations on a beautiful Dol celebration, Ally & John, and happy birthday, Zach! We can't wait to share the final project with you!