Jan. 9 - South Korean parents spare no expense to celebrate their children's first birthdays. Julie Noce reports.
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It's a big day for one year old Dot-byul. Her parents are throwing her a doljanchi party to celebrate her first birthday.
In South Korea, the occasion has become an event of great proportions with parents sparing no expense for food, photographers, and gift bags for invited guests.
(SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREAN MOTHER KIM JAE-YEON SAYING:
"We can hold low-key celebrations for her second, third and future birthdays, but for the very first, I wanted to throw this party to show Dot-byul that everyone came here today to bless you'."
The tradition is rooted in history. During the Korean War when food was scarce, a child surviving past their first year was a rarity.
And although starvation is no longer a concern, children are still considered a precious commodity, especially as the birth rate in South Korea is on the decline.
Dol celebrations have become a cottage industry with some parents spending upwards of $10,000 on the affair and booking venues when they first discover they are pregnant.
Besides celebrating a child's first year, the event can also help determine what the future holds.
Looks like little Dot-byul is going to become a golfer.
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