Korean Baby Traditions

My sister has pointed out to me that there is no such Korean custom as not having a baby touch the ground for the first 100 days of its life.

Bella’s dad and I had a big party when Bella turned 100 days old, which is Korean custom (ie., in the old days with high infant mortality, surviving your first 100 days was cause for celebration). At that ceremony, Bella’s feet touched the ground for the first time, which in retrospect is not Korean custom, but something Bobby and I made up… I think simply because she hadn’t touched the ground yet, and we thought we could mark the occasion.
We did that a lot in those days – make things up I mean. We made up her surname too (Monique). Up until the point when I was handed the birth certificate document and asked to write Bella’s name for the first time, I didn’t realize that a child could be named anything – that there are no rules for name-making, only tradition – and for us back then, tradition was made for breaking.

Bella’s feet touched the earth by the smoke tree we planted for the occasion.

More on Korean baby traditions on a kimchi mama post here.

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