Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Allie's Korean Tol 1st Birthday Party!

First birthdays are a really big deal in Korea. Based on our research, they call their first birthday parties Tol parties and a lot of planning goes into them. Since she had just come home 3 weeks prior, we decided to keep hers very small, but also incorporate some of the Korean Tol traditions. We had a banquet display of candy and other desserts, along with balloons and a banner. We had a photo display. We also served some Korean food such as Spicy Korean Soup (yum!), spring rolls, dumpings, rice, and kimchi (pickled vegetables). She liked the food, even the spicy stuff!
We also incorporated a ceremony called the doljabi in which she is presented with different objects that represent various predictions about her life. For example, a spool of thread represents a long life, rice means she'll never grow hungry, money means she'll be rich, etc. She chose the rice and a ball---so she'll never go hungry and do something in the sports world?!?! :)
We also dressed her in her hanbok, which is a traditional Korean outfit. Hers was a gift from her foster mom. A bit big, but adorable. I was unsure how the party would go since we are new to Korean food, traditions, etc. and we weren't sure how she'd handle her biggest crowd yet-10 adults and 4 other kids, all immediate family. I have to say it was really amazing. She did great and it was a really special occasion. We also showed her homecoming video, which you can also see here on our blog.

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