Our Little Dragon's Dol

Our Little Dragon's Dol
Our little dragon turned 1 and we had a big birthday party. We had lots of family and friends join us in the celebration. Our son’s first birthday was a wonderful event. We Celebrated his Dol. 

I only planned 2 hours for party set up. That was not enough time. Luckily, we had family to keep our son occupies while we worked. Make sure to leave yourself plenty of time when setting up for a birthday party with lots of details. It takes longer than you think to set up. My husband had to go pick up balloons and the cake in those 2 hours, too. What can I say? It'sour first time. Hopefully I'll plan more time next year. 

Dragon Goim (Dol Tower)
It was a wonderful first birthday. I designed and put together most of the decoration with the help of my husband and my mom.  A couple of items were ordered from Etsy. This Goim was one of the items I ordered from Etsy from this shop. It was my big splurge for the party. It was pretty pricey compared to the other decorations but it was totally worth it. We will have this Goim or Dol tower as a memento of our son's first birthday. I also purchased a wooden dragon puzzle from this shop and and a Chinese Zodiac Block from this shop. They were all decoration on the main table. 

My mother-in-law cooked a big Korean meal. She made both vegetarian and meat dishes to accommodate all of our guests. I made cute little tags so our guests knew what they were having. She made Bulgogi (both beef and spicy pork). We had shrimp lo mein, vegetarian and meat yaki mandu, Crab Rangoon and Cheese Rangoon, chicken wings, and rice.

My mother in law also made this beautiful watermelon basket for fruit.

There was plenty of fruit and vegetables for our guests.

The big event at a Doljanchi is the Dol. I found lots of design ideas on http://www.korean1stbirthday.com/ I’m not Korean but my son is a quarter Korean and my husband is half. I thought it was important to have this celebration in honor of my husband’s family and heritage. I’m not sure it was the most traditional but it was interesting and fun. It was a lot like our son, a fusion of many traditions from both sides of his family.

We dressed our son up in his traditional clothing that his grandma purchased for him and took some pictures.

My mom made Dum Dum topiaries for one of the tables. We put in a lot of work and it was totally worth it. Our son’s first birthday party was a success. Our guests were given tickets so they could bet on the item(s) he would choose. We set up a Doljabi board that explained what the choices were. I picked up the baskets set up to collect the tickets at The Dollar Tree. I posted a description of the tradition at the table for the guests, since most of them were not Korean. 

We laid out the items on the floor for our son to choose from. 

I may have taken a little artistic license with the items and broadened their scope, but I didn't want the hem in out little Dragon. 
  • Book = Scholar
  • Stethoscope = Scientist
  • Paint set = Artist
  • Gavel =  Law
  • Yarn = Long Life
  • Ball = Athlete
  • Money = Wealth

We also let him choose 2 items. Not one to fall back on, but in the hopes he will have two great interests. He chose the gavel first and then the paint set. We might end up with an artistic lawyer. Who knows?
Blowing Out the Candels
Afterwards, we changed our son back into his regular clothes so we could cut the cake. I wonder what he wished for. The cake came from Sam's Club. Our guests all commented about how fresh and moist it was. I really like getting cakes from there. 
Birthday Cake
I think it's an American tradition to let a baby smash their first piece of birthday cake while they eat it. Our son certainly enjoyed his birthday cake. But by the time we got to the cake he was getting sleepy. 

I love to see everyone having a good time. It reminds me of the family reunions we used to go to when I was little. It was wonderful to bring together members from both of our families to celebrate our son. 
At the end of the party we opened presents while everyone gathered around. Our son got that jaunty hat from one of his aunts. 
I didn't really know the first thing about throwing a Dol when I started. But I did some research and I know more now than I did when I started. It wasn't a perfect Dol, I'm sure. But it was a fun one. The most important thing was that we threw a good and memorable first birthday party for our son. 
Good luck planning your little one's first birthday!

If you are looking for Dol Party inspiration check out my Pinterest Board
Check Out my other DIY Party Posts:

3rd Birthday Party

2nd Birthday Party

1st Birthday Party


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