It’s no surprise that Korean culture has grown in popularity over the past few years. Korean pop stars are obtaining global recognition and Korean dramas are spreading globally. Pop stars like BTS and Black Pink recently have gained massive followings in western countries like the United States. Global recognition of Korean celebrities has helped place Korea in the minds of non-indigenous Koreans and sparked a rise of interest in Korean traditions. By doing a quick search on trends of Korean related themes, cultures, and products, data shows that there has been an exponential increase in searches for keywords related to Korean culture. With factual data suggesting that Korean culture is on the rise, it’s not surprising to see other constituents of Korean culture also receiving attention like Doljabi.
Doljabi A Unique Korean Tradition
Doljabi is a unique Korean celebration and one celebrated by most native Koreans because of its significance to them, and to understand the significance, we must revisit the past.
Korean Cultural History
In the olden days of Korea, medicine and healthcare were not nearly as effective and people were not as economically fortunate as today so many children did not survive up to their first birthday. Therefore, when a baby did survive up to their first birthday, it was a blessing and their parents threw a big celebration to thank the gods for the fortunate outcome and to wish the baby future blessings such as financial security, longevity, and vigorous energy. This celebration is called Doljanchi and nearly all Koreans who were privileged to have their baby survive their first year celebrated it.
Koreans have always been submerged in a culture that values family and respect for their family members so the importance of Doljanchi has passed on to this day. It can also be argued as one of the most Korean traditions to native Koreans. And although many native Koreans practice it in Korea, it was fairly unpopular amongst Koreans who were raised overseas, lost touch with their cultural roots, and had a baby in places like America, Australia, and Europe.
Reintroduction of Korean Traditions
However, a good number of non-indigenous people still encounter their cultural roots in the form of Korean dramas or while shopping for foods in their ethnic grocery store. The global recognition of Korean pop stars and Korean dramas and their active efforts to spread the influence of Korean culture to their fans has sparked interest in some Koreans who were once out of touch with their cultural roots and are now finding ways to reintroduce themselves; one way is through Doljabi. The widespread popularity of Korean celebrities is also changing the way the average person perceives the culture of Korea. With more fans interested in learning about Korean culture and in the process, learning about traditions such as Doljabi, Doljabi Sets, Baek-il, Chuseok, and Seollal and raving about it, Korean culture is spreading in popularity and reaching those who initially had zero interest in Korean culture.
Doljabi A Fun and Entertaining Tradition
Doljabi in particular is catching on because it’s fun and entertaining for the baby, the host, and the guests. It’s a tradition where a Doljabi Set comprises items that each hold their own unique representation such as a pencil for a writer, a computer mouse for an engineer, a yarn for long life, and plenty more in front of the baby to choose from. The baby then picks up items that predict the future of the baby. It’s a way of fortune-telling and people seem to love the idea of this!
This celebration soothes the natural human inclination for curiosity and also stimulation. People are naturally curious about their future and the future of their loved ones like their baby and also like games! It makes complete sense why the Korean tradition Doljabi is catching on even by people who aren’t Koreans because it provides an entertaining theme to almost any baby’s birthday.
Doljabi is also paired with a raffle for guests to win a prize and actively participate in Doljabi. Hosts love this idea because Doljabi can also entertain their guests. A party goes both ways – to provide the person of celebration with an amazing party and to provide the guests with an entertaining time.
The best part is, Doljabi does not have to be exclusively for a 1st birthday party. It can be used for all ages and with some creativity can be used for adult parties. Doljabi is a fun way to celebrate a birthday and is the takeaway point for most people. They’re looking for a unique theme that’s entertaining for themselves and their guests and the central theme of Doljabi offers them the basic foundation of throwing one.