The first birthday is probably the most important for Koreans. The next big one is at 60. We celebrated Moka’s first with just family. Usually the whole village is invited. But that village for us would include 30 million people. For this Korean celebration, the birthday girl and I were the only attending Koreans (my in-laws are Japanese) so I take full responsibility for any inauthentic elements.
The celebration, called tol in Korean, has been adapted by modern Koreans but they all have some shared elements. So here’s how we did it.
The Offering Table
The dais where the birthday girl hangs out is piled high with seasonal fruit and rice cakes. We couldn’t find fresh Korean rice cakes so we went with just fruit which is fine because we are a fruit loving family. And Moka is a fruit loving girl. Continue reading