There’s no doubt a stronger association between years of age in the 10s in native Korean numbers and personal development.
The Master said: “At fifteen my heart was set on learning; at thirty I stood firm; at forty I was unperturbed; at fifty I knew the mandate of heaven; at sixty my ear was obedient; at seventy I could follow my heart’s desire without transgressing the norm.”
However, do native Korean numbers contain the exact reference in their literal meanings?
20’s: 스무 살
스스로 + 무게
The one who wants to wear the crown must bear its weight on one’s own.
冠礼 - 成年礼 is a ritual ceremony for a male entering adulthood in Asian countries, and wearing a cap is indispensable, as its name implies.
30’s: 서른 살
40’s: 마흔 살
마다하다 + 흔들리다
refuse (unwilling) to be shaken
50’s: 쉰 살?
60’s: 예순 살
It’s phonetically similar to 耳順 in Chinese.
My ear was obedient.
70’s: 일흔 살
일 + 흔히 ？
Do things in the usual manner (within the norm) according to one’s desire?
80’s: 여든 살 ?
90’s: 아흔 살 ?
1 년이 되면 돌잔치를 합니다.
아기가 태어난 지 100 일이 되면 백일잔치를.
부모가 만 60 세가 되는 해에는 환갑잔치를.
70 세가 되는 때에는 고희잔치를 자식들이 열어 축하해줍니다.
What are the names of other festivals (잔치
) related to ages celebrated by Koreans?
Interestingly, the names of the 60 and 70 festivals (잔치) match the classic names for the corresponding ages in Chinese.
What about numbers related to ages in Japanese?