Why tteok (Rice Cakes) for a Traditional Korean First Birthday Celebration?

Tteok (rice cakes) is one of the most important components used for a traditional Korean first birthday celebration. Korean rice cakes come in many shapes and forms and consumed as a savory meal or dessert. For a traditional Korean first birthday, tteok is made from rice flour which is pounded, shaped and steamed into sweets.

Tteok can range from elaborate versions made of many different colors and shapes using fruits, bean paste, fruits and nuts. Other popular ingredients we’ve seen are sesame seeds and honey.

Today we like to focus on the aesthetics and taste of tteok and forget the origin of why we served tteok at a Korean first birthday celebration. In the Korean culture, tteok is food that is meant to be shared with family and friends at any celebratory events. It is also placed on the dolsang table which symbolizes an offering to the spirits that bring good fortune and blessings.

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