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!
What is Baekil (백일) in Korea?
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
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).
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)
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
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
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.
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)
8730 Wilshire Blvd #101
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Dana Yu Creative
37 Amos ST
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591
Serving the entire New York Metro area
The Party New York
Greenport, NY 11944
Bat Haus (venue & event space)
459 Grand St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Williamsburg – North Side
Flushing, Queens, NY
|Party N Favors|
11434 Emerald St, Dallas, TX 75229, USA
11127 Shady Trail #105 Dallas, TX 75229
11420 Emerald Street
Dallas, TX 75229
Texas Rose Bakery
Austin, TX 78753
12627 Jedburg Ln, Woodbridge, VA 22192
Party with Chloe
The Party Ave
Vancouver BC, Canada
Merry Days London
2 Monak Street, Rucorn, QLD 4113
Eastwood Eastwood, NSW, Australia 2122
Petit et Maman
What to bring as a gift when you’re invited to a 100-day celebration?
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.
exclusive info on Korea
Did we miss anything?
Let us know your thoughts or questions about baek-il janchi in the comments!
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