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Why Dduk (Rice Cake) for a Conventional Korean First Birthday Celebration?

Dduk (rice cake) is one of the most important components of a traditional Korean first birthday celebration. Korean rice cakes come in many shapes and forms, and are eaten as a hearty meal or dessert. For a traditional Korean first birthday, dduk is made from rice flour that is pounded, shaped, and steamed into candy.

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Dduk can range from elaborate versions in many different colors and shapes with fruits, bean paste, fruits, and nuts. Other popular ingredients that we’ve seen are sesame seeds and honey.

Today we like to focus on the aesthetics and taste of dduk, forgetting the origin of why we served dduk at a Korean first birthday celebration. In Korean culture, dduk is a meal that is intended to be shared with family and friends at festive events. It is also placed on the Dolsang table, which symbolizes a sacrifice to the spirits that bring good luck and blessings.

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