In Korean culture, turning 100 days old is pretty freaking exciting and it’s celebrated like a birthday. One hundred days even has its own capitalized celebration word, “Baek-Il”. Fancy.
The tradition comes from the days when the infant mortality rate in Korea was high. People did not introduce their new babies to their families or take the babies out in public until they were 100 days old. If the baby made it that far, there was a celebration. The parents of the new baby are supposed to give rice cakes to 100 people to bring good luck to their child.
Of course, now the infant mortality rate is much lower. Violet has been going out in public pretty much since I gave birth to her. And I don’t know exactly a) what a rice cake is or b) how to make one. Even if I did know that, I certainly don’t know 100 local people to give cakes.
But that doesn’t matter. We are keeping Korean culture in our halfies’ lives by celebrating Korean milestones often by bastardizing them with American cultural stuff. When each of our kids celebrated 100 days, we bought a birthday cake and sang “Happy 100 Day to You”, then blew out candles that said 100.
It’s totally traditional and stuff. I know it must be because my Korean immigrant in-laws BOUGHT the first cake and candles. Thus, I’m sure this is how Koreans have been celebrating Baek-Il for hundreds of years.
Any excuse to eat cake, right?
This past weekend, we took that excuse to eat cake when Violet’s grandparents came to see her for the first time just a few days short of her 100th day. Today is the official 100th day for Violet!
Luckily there’s leftover cake from our premature celebration. I’d hate to let her real Baek-Il pass without my pigging out on cake. Because that’s totally the point. Or something.
Anyway, here’s hoping for a lucky day.