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[Land of Squid Game] Life prediction ceremony on the first birthday

An important Korean ceremony is the celebration of a baby‘s first birthday, known as doljanchi. The ceremony is held to bless the child with a prosperous and healthy life. The highlight of this ceremony is where a variety of objects are placed in front of the baby and the baby is encouraged to grab one or two items.

Each of the items represents a different future for the child in terms of career or lifestyle. A brush, a gavel, or a stethoscope may mean that the baby will become a scholar, a legislator, or a medical doctor someday. If the baby picks up coins or threads or a copper plaque, this may mean that the baby will be wealthy or live a long life or become a government official someday.

More recently included objects are things like a microphone, a computer mouse, or a tiny soccer ball representing a future in the entertainment industry, software engineering, or athletics.

By Min Byoung-chul 

Min Byoung-chul is an endowed chair professor at Chung-Ang University who is widely known as a multicultural educator and for his practical English teaching. This content is based on his book, “Land of Squid Game,” which can be purchased at major book stores.  -- Ed.

By Korea Herald (
Korea Herald daum