Korean Dol – a birthday tradition

I was so honored to photograph this little darling’s special day and family tradition!

Dol is a Korean tradition that celebrates the first birthday of a baby. The highlight of the dol is a ritual called the doljabi (돌잡이) where the child is placed in front of a table of foods and objects such as string, book, calligraphy brush, ink, and money. The child is then urged to pick up an object from the table.

It is believed the one selected will foretell the child’s future. For example, if the child picks up a paint/calligraphy brush or book, they are destined to be smart. If they pick up money, they will be wealthy; If they pick up food, they will not be hungry. If the child picks up the thread, it is believed they will live a long life. This ceremony blesses the child with a prosperous future.