Purple Lemon Photography

Korean Dol

Thursday, September 24, 2009
Earlier this week, I got to be the photographer for my first Korean Dol. Not only was it my first, but a Dol is a first birthday party, so it was the guest of honor's first Dol, too. And for the family it was the first, as they did not have the traditional party for their first daughter.

This was a fun learning experience for me (and oh, how I wish I could have taken the GIANT chocolate cake home with me), so I'll teach you what I learned. Through pictures.

First of all, decorations are very important. Here is the head table. The tall cylindrical shaped times on the front traditionally would be (left to right) dates, sweets/cakes, chestnuts, and beans.
The guest of honor wears a special dress. This one is from Korea.

Lots of food! They were so kind and made up a plate for Brian and the little fella who had been taking a walk outside. The whole family joined in the fun.

Following the tradition, there is a voting table where people vote on what item the baby will chose from a tray. Tradition says that whatever the baby chooses will be an indication of their future. In this family, the father is a hair dresser so they added (untraditionally) scissors. That is just what Madeline chose!

Of course there were sweets! No birthday would be complete without cakes and cupcakes...

Something else that I found fascinating (the social scientist that I am is coming out here- aren't we glad I went to college for that degree?) is the similarity between this event and the weddings that I'll be shooting this weekend. It is a celebration with many traditions surrounding it. Someone wears a special dress or suit. There are special cakes. The choosing of the item is like tossing a bouquet, as it "tells the future." Families gather and figure out how to mesh and celebrate together. This particular family was both Korean and American, so it exemplifies the differences in family and culture. It was wonderful to see how the traditions were shared but not forced (they gracefully had some pizza available). I could go on, but this is my photography business, not my social science dissertation.

Thank you, Lee Family, for including me in the party. I enjoyed it!