Jisun, one of our Operations Officers, is currently on maternity leave and recently gave us the exciting news that she and her husband held a traditional Korean 100 day celebration for her new baby Charlotte. Known as “Baek-il (백일)” in Korean, it is an important and celebrated day in the life of an infant, held on 100th day after the child’s birth.
Long ago in Korea childhood diseases and malnutrition were common and the survival rate for new born babies was very low. To protect their children, parents refrained from taking their baby outdoors until the 100th day after the birth. On the 100th day, the family would traditionally pray and give food offerings to thank the Shaman spirit of childbirth for the child having survived this difficult period.
Offerings of rice and soup are presented in gratitude for having cared for the infant and the mother, and for having helped them live through a difficult period. White rice cakes called baekseolgi and wine also play a huge part in the celebrations. It is believed that if the steamed rice cakes are shared with 100 people, the infant would have a long and healthy life.
The event is still celebrated in modern day Korea as a time of congratulations for the parents and family.
We wish Jisun and her family good health and a happy Baek-il and we look forward to her return to the office!