DDUK is a vital part of any Korean celebration, as it symbolizes prosperity and celebration of life and nature.
Though there are hundreds of different types of rice cakes, certain types are eaten and served during Dol (1st Birthday) and Bekil (100th Day) events to symbolize certain wishes for the well-being of the child’s future and upcoming life. Let’s take a look at these and decide how you’d like to tradition-up your baby’s event.
White Sulgi 백설기(Bek Sulgi): Symbolizes long life and holds wishes for the child to to grow-up pure.
Rainbow Sulgi 무지개 설기(Moo Ji Gae Sulgi): Contains the meaning of wish fulfillment, the rainbow symbolizing the child’s dreams.
Red-bean Bells 수수팥떡(Su Su Pat DDuk): It is believed that the color red repels bad spirits, and also the repetition of ‘Su’ (‘수’ word for LIFE) reflects the hopes for the child and their offspring to thrive and have long lives. It is believed that the red bean bells should be consumed by the child for every birthday celebration until they reach 10 years of age.
Toned Bells 오색경단(Oh Sek Gyung Dan): The various colors have the same meaning of wish-fulfillment as the rainbow sulgi, and the sticky-rice symbolizes strength and perseverance.
Honey DDuk 꿀떡(GGul DDuk): Wish for the child to have a ‘filling’– a full character.
Injeolmi 인절미: A wish for the child to be patient and persevering like sticky-rice.
(View a visual list of more types of dduk at www.ddukpedia.com )
Serving Suggestions: It is best to serve Dol DDuk on a white dish– clean and pure like a baby– displaying purity being more important than having expensive pieces. Using round plates also ensures a round life– no hard edges– although modern square plates with rounded edges also work fine and look great. High mounds of dduk is always better than flat arrangements, as it makes for a more visually interesting table setting, but also symbolizes the baby’s towering hopes and dreams.