[Hallyupedia] Children’s Day

연합뉴스 / 2022-05-01 16:45:26
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by Ra Hwakjin / Haemin Kim


[ENG] A day set to promote the spirit of love and protection for children. 5th May.



▲ This photo, shows a father buying a gift for his daughter ahead of Children's Day. (Yonhap)

▲ This photo, shows the products prepared ahead of Children's Day. (Yonhap)


▲ This photo, shows Seoul Land preparing an event for Children's Day. (Yonhap)


It is a national holiday on May 5th as it is the Children’s Day in South Korea.

It was established to cultivate the spirit of love for children and to instill dreams and hopes in children so that they can grow up to be right, beautiful, wise and courageous.

Historically, during the Japanese colonial period, a movement aimed at instilling national consciousness in children was led by Bang Jeong-hwan, and as it began to develop actively, eventually, Saekdonghoe, a group of Korean students studying in Japan announced Children’s Day on May 1st of 1923. Ever since, Children’s day has been celebrated every year.

Since Children’s Day in South Korea was established separately, it is celebrated on a different day with the International Children’s Day, 1st June- established by the World Conference for the Well-being of Children or the World Children’s Day (November 20) set by UNESCO.

Children’s Day this year marks the 100th year since Seokdonghoe first celebrated Children’s Day in 1923.

According to the Encyclopedia of Korean Culture at the Academy of Korean Studies, on May 1st 1923, at the first Children’s Day commemoration event, “Writings by Adults” were distributed. They were asked to “write respectful words to children, and always be gentle.” One of the things that Bang Jeong-hwan always asked was to respect the children as independent individuals. The slogan of the first Children’s Day was “Let’s become strong and honest boys. And let’s always love and help each other.”

However, it is said that there was an incident where the police in the eastern part of Japan cracked down for holding the Children’s Day event on May 1st, which was originally set by Saekdonghoe because it overlaps with Labor Day. In order to avoid this, the event was changed to the first Sunday in May from 1927 but was eventually stopped in 1939.

After South Korea’s liberation on August 15, 1945, May 5th was officially designated as the Children’s Day in 1946. This is because the first Sunday in May 1946 was the 5th and was thought that it was better to set Children’s Day with a specific date. In 1975, it was designated as a national holiday and has continued to be till this day. From 2013, it has been decided that if May 5th falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday would be an alternative holiday.

◇ Children’s Day events… Free entries to many places including palaces on May



▲ This photo, shows president of South Korea Moon Jae-in with children on Children's Day 2019. (Yonhap)

On Children’s Day, Cheong Wa Dae hosts many events for children at various places of government agencies and organizations, such as inviting model children, children from remote islands, a child head of household, and children with facility protection.

On Children’s Day, most of the children’s parks, halls, and performance halls are open for free and palaces, memorials, sports grounds, and gymnasiums usually also open for free or provide services for convenience.

This year, Cultural Heritage Administration Royal Palaces and Tombs Center included a program where “Guardians with South Korean Children” will be able to visit Palaces or the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty for free while “Guardians with foreign children” were excluded. However, this program was heavily criticized saying that it is an unreasonable discrimination against foreigners.

The Cultural Heritage Administration then accepted the criticism and changed the program to having free admission to all palaces and royal tombs on Children’s Day regardless of nationality or age.



▲ This photo, shows Gwanghanruwon Garden. (Yonhap)


▲ This photo, shows Chunhyangje Festival. (Yonhap)


▲ This photo, shows a part of Haedambyeol, opening on Children's Day. (Yonhap)


Additionally, Namwon city, North Jeolla Province, is opening the Gwanghanruwon Garden for free on Children’s Day. On this day, the Chunhyangje Festival will be opening. In Busan, the 49th Busan Children’s Day festival will be held with a juggling man show and sand art. “Haedambyeol,” Chungju Children's Science Center, which had the opening ceremony in March, is opening to the general public in line with the Children’s day as well. Like this, many events are prepared for the Children’s day and especially because no offline events were held for two years due to COVID-19, more offline events have been prepared this year.

◇ Donations for underprivileged children led by celebrities


Around Children’s Day, many donations are made for the underprivileged children, and celebrities who are loved by the public have been taking the lead in these donations.

▲ This photo, shows actress Kim Go-Eun. (Yonhap)


▲This photo, shows singer and actress Suzy. (Yonhap)


Last year, on Children’s Day, actress Kim Go-eun donated 50 million won to Seoul National University Children’s Hospital for the treatment of children who are facing financial difficulties. 

Singer and actress Suzy donated 100 million won to the Happiness Sharing Taekwondo Federation, a corporation that provides education and supplies of Taekwondo for children in orphanages on Children’s Day last year. It is told that Suzy has been continuing to donate fields related to Taekwondo as her father was a former Taekwondo instructor.


▲ This photo, shows J-HOPE from BTS. (Yonhap)


▲ This photo, shows singer and actress IU. (Yonhap)

Last year, J-Hope from BTS also donated 100 million won to ChildFund Korea to use it for children in Tanzania, Africa, on Children’s Day last year. Singer and actress IU also donated 100 million won to the same foundation in 2020 to help children from low-income families.





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