Korean Birthday – All You Need To Know!

korean birthday

Are you looking for ways to celebrate your korean friends / lover birthday? In this article, I will share with you all about Korean birthday culture and how celebrate it.

Table of Contents

Korean Birthday Culture

Traditionally, Koreans call birthday ‘gui bbajin nal 귀빠진날,’ which means ‘the day the ear fell out’. These words came from the fact that the most painful part of giving birth is when the ears come out.

Korean Birthday Celebration

When we talk about how Koreans celebrate their birthday, it varies depending on their personality, current age, and who they celebrate it with. However, generally, there are what Koreans do during their birthday.

1. Friends

Just like any other country, koreans celebrate their birthday with friends by going to restaurant, karaoke (noraebang), cafes, and pub or pojangmacha for the last resort of the day.

Of course it depends on each individuals preference, but most young koreans celebrate their birthday in multiple place from daylight to moonlight.

If you are celebrating your korean friends birthday, you can buy a cake at local bakery and celebrate it in the restaurant. However, some restaurant isn’t allow you to bring cake from outside, so you better ask them beforehand.

2. Couple

If you follow a lot of Koreans on Instagram, you might already saw a Korean couple with lots of balloons at a hotel or pool villa in Korea.

Usually if the couple is in their 30s and their relationship age is more than 6 months, they will plan a trip to a beautiful pool villa or hotel to enjoy a romantic trip together on birthday weekends.

Generally, Koreans will surprise visit their couple at the time of their birthday with a cake and gifts.

In case of a married couple, the husband or wife will surprise them somewhere with romantic decorations, bouquets and gifts.

3. Family

korean birthday

Credit to maangchi

When Korean celebrate their birthday with family, they will dine together. This is where you will find seaweed soup 미역국 (miyeokguk), japchae and Korean rice cake at the table.

In terms of gifts, Korean families will give cash as a gift combined with gifts related to the person preference, whether it is fashion, cosmetics, or maybe red ginseng.

Do note that if you cook seaweed for your in-laws, ensure you always do it all the rest of their lives, or else they will be disappointed.

Importance of Birthday in Korea

korean birthday

Credit to wikipedia

Just like everyone all over the world, we highly esteem this particular day when we’re born. However, in Korea, there are two ages more critical than others, the first (돌) birthday and the sixtieth 60th (환갑) birthday. 

This age has become significant because previously, many babies died before their first year, so the first year of birthday celebrations in Korea is essential. 

On the other hand, the 60th birthday celebrations marked as a sign of an individual’s transition from active roles to retirement status. 

Meaning of Eating Seaweed Soup

korean birthday

Credit to wikimedia

In Korean culture, there’s a tradition where we eat Miyeok-guk (미역국) or seaweed soup on our birthday to show honor and gratitude to our mother.

After giving birth to a baby, a Korean mother will eat seaweed soup every single day to recover. Seaweed soup is rich in nutrients such as calcium, antioxidants, and iodine, which is very beneficial for a mother.

Happy Birthday In Korean Language?

When you want to say Happy birthday to your korean friends, you can easily says ‘생일축하해요’ (saengil chukahaeyo).

The word ‘saeng-il 생일’ means Birthday and ‘chukahaeyo 축하해요’ means congratulations, Together it become ‘Happy Birthday’.

In case you are talking with someone you respect / elderly, you can say ‘saengsin chukadeurimnida (생신을 축하드립니다).

You can also add some birthday wish such as:

  • 나는 너의 모든 생일 소원이 이루어지기를 바래요! 
    [naneun noui modeun saengil seowonii iruojigireul baraeyo!]
    Hope all your wishes come true!
  • 항상 건강하시고 행복하세요!
    [hangsang gonganghasigo haengbokhasaeyo!] 
    Always be healthy and happy!
  • 성공하고, 항상 행운이 함께 하길 바랍니다.
    [songgonghago, hangsang haenguni hamgye hagil baramnida] I wish you success and luck!

Happy Birthday Song

Happy birthday song is the same all over the world. This is the korean version of Happy Birthday song.

  • Happy Birthday to you: 생일 축하합니다 (saengil chukhahabnida).
    Happy Birthday to you: 생일 축하합니다 (saengil chukhahabnida)
    Happy Birthday dear xxxx: 사랑하는 (name)씨
    Happy Birthday to you: 생일 축하합니다 (saengil chukhahabnida)

Sum Up

There are a lot of different ways Korean celebrate their birthday. However, these are the common and general ways Koreans celebrate their birthday, whether with family, a couple, or friends.

Have you ever attended your korean friends birthday? How did you celebrate it? Let me know in the comment sections below!

Check out our another article:

korean birthday
korean birthday

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