baek-il, or 100 days, is one of several korean birthday celebrations. in the olden days, infant mortality in korea was high so if a baby reached 100 days of life there was a small celebration to give thanks for the baby’s, and mother’s, health thus far. prayers were also said for the baby’s longevity, wealth, and luck.
today, the baek-il is celebrated more for fun: it’s an excuse to have a party, and to take pictures of the event to share with everyone. as the baek-il is not as a significant milestone as the dol, first birthday, we kept the party intimate by only inviting immediate family members and relatives. since baek-il is not a big deal and everyone else lives in either eastern massachusetts or new hampshire, less than half attended.. we ended up having too much food but better to have too much (and leftovers!) than too little. the food was catered from a local korean restaurant -thanks to my in-laws – and the mini rice cakes and actual rice cake were made by a church elder.
obviously there is very little downtime with a baby. whenever penny napped, i would work on the decorations. i made the bunting – ‘happy 100th day’ – during one of penny’s 3-hour naps. i used leftover 8.5 x 11 in. brown card stock for the background and a small packet of 6×8 in. scrapbook paper that i purchased from michaels.
for the sign, i used a ruler and pencil to measure and mark the halfway point on the bottom of the card stock. next, i placed the ruler vertically from the middle point to mark 4 inches above the point. then, i used the ruler again to help draw straight lines from the new mark to the bottom corners of the paper (to make a triangle). finally, i cut out the triangle to make a sign. i used the first one as a tracer to make more signs.
for the letters, i just sketched out block letters on paper without stencils. i did make sure that each letter was similar in width and height to make them uniform. in addition, i made sure to sketch the letters on the other side of the paper so if i made a mistake and wanted to erase, the markings wouldn’t show on the side that would be displayed. that meant, for some letters, i had to sketch a few letters backwards.
i also made a mini bunting for the cake using scrapbook paper, bakery string, and paper straws. i drew a triangle and cut it out, and then i used the original as a tracer for all the other ones. next, i taped the triangles to bakery thread. then, i used a gold sharpie to write the letters. finally, i tied the bakery string to the paper straws.
for the streamer background, i found a cool how-to on pinterest. all you need is masking tape and streamers. you tape up the masking tape – sticky side out – in a straight line. then you hang up strips of streamers by sticking each one onto the tape. i made sure to tape each streamer at a different point on the tape strip so the streamers would overlap. i only used three colors: hot pink, light pink, and white. my sister and her boyfriend came the night before to help me set up the streamers, arrange the flowers, make paper flowers, and clean and organize the house.
for the paper fans, some were decorations from my baby showers that i had saved and some were made by me for the baek-il. these proved difficult to hang up because of the ridges. i used a lot of masking tape. for the heavier ones, i either used a clear hook to hang them or taped twine on the back and hung them up that way.
we developed images from penny’s newborn photo shoot and had them framed to hang up around the home. we also had wrapped canvases made as well. the paper garland is from etsy and was a decoration from one of my baby showers.
for drinks, we offered water, 3 different kinds of flavored san pellegrino, and soda.
my friend, rebecca, made macarons for the event and stopped by to personally drop them off. they were a huge hit and were gobbled up by everyone! she also made a separate batch for dennis and me as well as a box of 6 for penny. such a kind gesture ~
i attempted a panoramic view of the event. my dog and one of my cousins were moving so they came out distorted. we held the celebration in our finished basement. for now, the basement holds our ping pong table and a few of penny’s play things but soon it will become penny’s playroom.
if you look at the beverage table, you’ll notice a baby monitor next to the coke bottle. penny napped for nearly the entire event! she had slept poorly the night before and was exhausted. good thing we took pictures with her before she napped.
for the dol, or first birthday, an array of objects is displayed for the baby to choose. whatever the baby selects is supposed to predict the baby’s future occupation. some things that are laid out are rice, thread, pencil, and a book. nowadays, people also add things like a stethoscope and microphone among others to diversity the job field, haha.
my grandma told us to have penny sit on the bag of rice with the loops of thread around her neck. i had never heard of this, but i’m guessing that grandma wishes wealth (rice) and long life (thread) upon penny. here’s to that!