Tips for the best first Korean Birthday Party (Dol)

A dol party is the highlight of a Korean baby’s first birthday and is commonly known as Doljanchi, Dol Party, or a Korean first birthday party.

Korean parents traditionally throw a Dol party for their baby and invest time and finances to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible for their baby, themselves, and their guests.

Here are a few pointers for a dol party for parents who’ll experience this for their first time.

Select a theme for your Dol Party

Having a central theme for your Dol party is extremely beneficial because it provides structure to planning. When a party is focused on a central theme, preparing for decorations, party supplies, and the overall layout of the place is much easier to imagine and therefore, implement.

Some Dol parties go with a traditional theme and prepare traditional foods, traditional decor, traditional Dol hanboks, and traditional Doljabi items. By choosing a traditional theme, half the planning is already finished because the possibility of ideas trim to a narrow field. Also, the types of traditional food and doljabi items are limited in the realm of traditional Korea.

Modern themes have a vast array of options and require more effort in planning. With a modern theme, one can choose to go with any type of Korean food, or even any type of non-Korean cuisine of their choice. The same concept applies to decor and doljabi items.

Prepare for Doljabi

Preparing for Doljabi is one of the most important for a Dol party because Doljabi is the highlight of a Dol party. Doljabi is a tradition where a baby is presented with 6-8 items and is asked to pick one for the parents to predict the future of the baby.

This is also the most entertaining part of the celebration for guests because they not only get to witness the prediction of the baby’s future, but they can also take part in Doljabi through a raffle where they can win a prize.

In Doljabi, two types of Doljabi items are used – traditional doljabi items and modern doljabi items. The type of items picked is dependent on the theme of the Dol party and either one is fine.

Modern doljabi sets have items that represent present career options whereas traditional doljabi sets have items that represent important traditional values.

Throw a fun Doljabi Raffle

Throwing a fun Doljabi raffle is crucial because the raffle is the most fun aspect of the Dol party for your guests asides, maybe the feast. The raffle is designed to ask the guests to guess which item they believe the host’s baby will choose first and provides the winner(s) of the raffle with a prize.

One can either choose to provide an easy raffle with a ton of winners, or a difficult raffle with a few or just one winner. The way to this is largely dependent on Doljabi. If the Doljabi requires the baby to pick up to 3 items, then the raffle can be structured to guess 3 items in the correct order and provide the winner who guesses the 3 items in the accurate order with an extravagant prize like a $300 gift card for Walmart.

As the host, the option of a simple Doljabi where the baby is asked to pick up only 1 item can be held which drastically simplifies the raffle and provides an opportunity for a handful of winners. With a handful of winners, hosts usually opt to party favor bags as prizes, and party favors too can be meaningful if not more than a desirable prize.