Eorininal (어린이날): Children’s Day in Korea

“Children are the future of our nation. Let’s show respect for children. Children who grow up with ridicule and contempt from others will become people who disrespect others, while children who grow up with respect from others will become people who respect others in turn.”

Bang Jeong-hwan (방정환)

https://teacherspage.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/xin_1006040210127832485028.jpg?w=640

Children’s Day, or Eorininal (어린이날), is celebrated in  Korea on the 5th of May every year. It is a public holiday observed since 1922. Korea sets this date to celebrate children’s happiness and to remind each citizen that the day should be commemorated to promote children’s general welfare and protection.  It is also a way to instill in them a sense of patriotism and national pride.

It is viewed by Korean children in a similar manner as Christmas is viewed by many children in the rest of the world — as a time for gifts and fun. During this day, parents shower their kids with gifts ranging from toys to money. Together with the presents, they also spend time with them by visiting amusements parks, zoos, museums and other places which are children-oriented. In some areas, various cultural programs are also held for both the parents’ and children’s enjoyment.

Children’s Day actually started through the hard work of Bang Jeong-hwan (방정환), a pioneer of Korean juvenile literature and a children’s rights activist. His purpose for the holiday was to promote love, care and respect for the youth because they are the future of the country.

In 1922, Bang Jeong-hwan with a group of Korean students and social leaders came up with the idea of celebrating a holiday that would focus on promoting and improving the social status of Korean children. The first Children’s Day was celebrated on May 1, 1923. Until 1939, Japanese authorities based in Seoul tried to ban the celebrations. After independence in 1945, the holiday was revived. In 1961, it was pushed to May 5 and was officially registered as a holiday in 1970.

Children’s Day not only focuses on celebrating the dignity of children and highlighting their need for care, love, and respect, but also honors adults who contribute to improving the children’s lives.

My Korean brother, Jae-woong, enjoying Children’s day 20 years ago.

It would be great if we also have this kind of holiday in the Philippines, don’t you think so?

Credits: anydayguide.com, wikipedia.com, dodoland.com, 90daykorean.com, aglobalworld.com, teacherspage.com

Written by Krew Member: Miao Canlas

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