How to Throw an Unforgettable Baek-il (100-Day Celebration)


Getting ready for your baby’s first 100th day celebration?

Whether you’re in the US, UK, Canada, make this special day memorable for you and your loved ones!

This post includes:

  • what baek il is
  • reason for 100 day celebration
  • baekil table
  • what to bring as a gift
  • and more!

Let’s get started!

Lingua Asia_How to Celebrate Baekil
Photo courtesy of Objet You

What is Baekil (백일) in Korea?

Lingua Asia_Korean 100 Day Celebration
Photo courtesy of Anna and Party

Baek-il literally means one hundred (100) and day in Korean. It’s pronounced more like “baegil”

It’s to celebrate the 100th day after the birth of a newborn.

This is a very intimate event where only direct family is invited. Most parents take commemorative photos at a studio, host a baekil celebration (mostly family-only at home), and hand out gifts to their friends and acquaintances.

Read on to find out the why and what.ヾ(•ω•`)o

Interesting Fact!

Korean couples also celebrate “baekil”. It’s to commemorate the 100th day of them dating. Aww, how cute! (❁´◡`❁)

They buy a nice gift for each other (mostly accessories, matching items or even a couple ring). FYI, wearing a ring is not reserved for married couples in Korea.

Why do Koreans celebrate 100th day?

Some say, 100 days after a baby is born is actually their one-year anniversary.

Koreans from a long time ago calculated that 280 days of pregnancy plus 100 days after birth minus 15 days of ovulation would yield 365 days. We can’t leave math out of anything.

So, 100 days means that a baby has survived and lived for 365 days since its creation. Neat, right?

Another reason is a sad one, just like with doljanchi. Since many babies couldn’t make it to 100 days in the past, Koreans began to celebrate their survival. These days are over thankfully and 100 day celebrations are becoming more symbolic and fun.

The last reason is that the number 100 itself symbolizes perfection and maturity in Korea.

Baekil is a wonderful way to celebrate Korean heritage, anywhere in the world.

You can hire event planners to organize the party in the United States, Canada, U.K., Australia and New Zealand!

Or, you can simply do it yourself because all you need is a room, some food and family members (or friends).

Interesting Fact!

If a baby is sick, the 100 day celebration is canceled. This is because it’s believed that holding a 100-day party in spite of illness would be harmful to the baby.

Also, wealthy families would host a big celebration (some even host the event at a fancy banquet hall), while the less fortunate would skip it all together.

How to host a Baekil Janchi?

Step 1. Get cute Hanbok outfits for you and your baby

In the past, Korean babies used to only wear white clothes (as you’ve seen it in some historic K-dramas like Under the Queen’s Umbrella on Netflix). Back then, baek il was when babies would wear colored clothes for the first time.

A 100 day-old baby in a colorful hanbok is simply adorable!

Optional: Get hanbok for you and your partner to achieve that matching family look.

Step 2. Order rice cakes (tteok)

Lingua Asia_Baekil rice cakes (tteok)
Photo courtesy of Daysulgi

Rice cake is a must for the baekil table! It’s not just for decoration but also is used as a gift after the ceremony.

You can get a variety of types, but they must include Baekseolgi (백설기), “wishing for longevity”, and Soosoo Pat Tteok (수수팥떡), “blocking misfortune”. It’s tradition.

It should be easy to spot a rice cake shop (떡집) at a Korean market if you’re in the States.

Rice cakes are for decorating the baekil table and then sharing with family members, friends and neighbors after the party.

Step 3. Set the samshin table

Lingua Asia_Baekil_Samshin Table

The 100 day celebration begins with setting up a samshin table early in the morning.

Samshin or samsin is the triple goddess of childbearing. She is usually called, “Samshin Halmoni (grandma)” who oversees the birth and growth of children.

The samshin table includes 3 bowls of seaweed soup (Miyeok-guk), steamed white rice and water as well as 3 types of Namul. (The rule is not to use salt, garlic, meat, knives or scissors while cooking. Pro tip, just use your hands to rip the ingredients.)

The mother prays for the health, longevity and blessings of her baby in front of the samshin table. Once the ceremony is over, she eats the food prepared for samshin.

Step 4. Set the baek-il table

Lingua Asia_baek-il table
Baek-il table setup at a banquet hall
(Photo courtesy of El Tower in Seoul)

A baek-il table (baekil sang) is another table that’s just for the party. It can be any type, covered with a nice table cloth.

There should be a tiny chair on the table where your baby can sit, awww. Parents also put up a pretty banner behind the table that says 100-day (백일).

Most Koreans place fruits, rice cakes, a cake, cash, white yarn (wishing for longevity) and more.

Optional: You can host this event at a banquet hall, although most Koreans do it at home.

Step 5. Welcome guests

This will most likely be a family gathering.

Welcome your guests and introduce your baby to them!

Step 5. Have the meal

You can enjoy some nice Korean food with your guests at home.

Some families head over to an upscale Korean restaurant (hanjeongsik or Korean table d’hôte) to keep the work (cooking) minimal.

Step 6. Thank guests and give out presents

After spending quality time with your family members, you can give out presents, which are the rice cakes you prepared!

Optional: You can hand out rice cakes to your friends, coworkers and neighbors after the party! Some locals believe that the more rice cakes you share, the luckier and healthier the baby becomes.

How to find a Baekil Janchi planner in my country?

If you want to go big and rent a venue, get a cake, find hanbok and hire a photographer yourself or have an event planner do everything, there are businesses that can help.

Los Angeles has many full services event planners whereas somewhere like Dallas has a few bakeries that do custom cakes. When in doubt, ask at a Korean restaurant with private rooms.

U.S.A.

Details Details
18 Technology Drive #124
Irvine, CA 92618
949-600-8881 (Orange County, CA)
310-870-0390 (Los Angeles, CA)
858-880-9389 (San Diego, CA)

Leafy Party
8730 Wilshire Blvd #101
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
310-360-7241

Dana Yu Creative
37 Amos ST
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591
Serving the entire New York Metro area

The Party New York
Greenport, NY 11944
712-441-6269

Bat Haus (venue & event space)
459 Grand St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Williamsburg – North Side
917-865-8660

Table Concept
Flushing, Queens, NY
917-613-2117
Party N Favors
11434 Emerald St, Dallas, TX 75229, USA
214-725-6519

The PN
11127 Shady Trail #105 Dallas, TX 75229
214-729-2675

Mozart Bakery
11420 Emerald Street
Dallas, TX 75229
972-406-8885

Texas Rose Bakery
Austin, TX 78753
512-565-4935

Hansang Dolsang
Columbia, MD
443-315-9919

Chookha Party
12627 Jedburg Ln, Woodbridge, VA 22192
703-705-1501

Canada

Dodam Dodam
Toronto, Canada
647-264-2828

Party with Chloe
Toronto, Canada
647-472-5333

The Party Ave
Vancouver BC, Canada

U.K.

Merry Days London
London, UK
074-4618-6841

Elizabeth Atelier
London, UK
075-0717-8558

Australia

Bebe Story
2 Monak Street, Rucorn, QLD 4113
0401-455-390

Lim Hanbok
Eastwood Eastwood, NSW, Australia 2122
424-350-456

New Zealand

Petit et Maman
Botany, Auckland
02102606564

2bmumnz
Glenfield, Auckland

What to bring as a gift when you’re invited to a 100-day celebration?

Lingua Asia_Baby Gift_2021
A cake made of diapers for my friend’s baby’s 100-day party!
I know a diaper cake sounds weird, but it was quite useful as it decorated the baek il table and then the baby later.

While doljanchi requires some expensive gifts like 24k gold rings, baekil janchi gifts can be casual.

You can pick anything in a price range that’s comfortable for you.

Safe gift ideas are: cute baby clothes, baby highchairs, Lamaze toys, bibs, baby bowls and spoons!

If you’re not sure, just give cash in an envelope to your Korean family or friend. Money is always a great gift in the homeland.

What to give guests if you’re hosting 100th day celebration?

Most Koreans hand out rice cakes to guests.

It’s common for Korean parents to order boxes of rice cakes from a local tteok shop for baek-il janchi. If you need more advice on Korean gifts, check out the post below.

25 One-of-a-kind Korean Gifts You Can Buy Right Now

 

Subscribe for
exclusive info on Korea

Learning Korean

Guided conversation is the fastest way to get fluent in Korean. Pimsleur takes you from 0 to conversational in three months. You can try Pimsleur here for free!  

Did we miss anything?

Let us know your thoughts or questions about baek-il janchi in the comments!

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this article that provide us a small commission at no extra cost to you. We only endorse the best software and products we use ourselves. Find out more about our code of ethics.

Leave a Comment