Children’s Day is celebrated to honor childhood and freedom of children. Different countries celebrate Children’s day on different dates. North Korea and South Korea observe this occasion on different days. Korea observed the day on May 5th, but after its division into North and South Korea, the celebrating dates too changed. While North Korea celebrates Children’s Day on June 1st, South Korea marks it on May 5th. The day is considered equivalent to Christmas for kids in South Korea. It celebrates the joys of childhood and family life. Browse through the following lines to know about the celebration and traditions of Children’s Day in North and South Korea.
Children’s Day Celebrations In Korea
For children in North Korea, Children’s Day is an occasion for enjoyment, fun and pleasure. Various picnics and recreational activities are organized for kids to participate and enjoy the festival to the fullest. Initially, the Koreans too celebrated Children’s day on May 5th, but after their separation from South Korea, the government chose another day and finalized it to June 1st, which is marked as the International Children’s Day. It is not a holiday in North Korea. Hence, parents go to their workplace, while children in the kindergarten or nursery schools enjoy the day in sports or small performances.
The South Koreans started observing Children’s Day on May 1st, 1922 when 8 people including Bang Jeong-hwan, a children’s story book writer, declared the day. It was done out of respect for children, as they were considered to be the future of the country. However, the date changed to May 5th in 1946 and in 1975, the day was declared a public holiday. Special gatherings are arranged, such as parties and picnics where songs are sung as part of dedication to Children’s Day. The occasion is marked throughout the country through parades and special events like pageants and martial arts demonstrations. Different competitions are also held, such as athletic meeting, play performance, writing competition and drawing competition.
Children don their traditional costumes and are taken to excursions by their parents. Children’s Day is seen as Christmas by the kids of South Korea as they receive various gifts on this day. Some popular places visited include museums, public zoos, amusement parks, gardens and movies. They are treated with some delicious and traditional delicacies, such as mandoo (Korean dumplings made from minced meat and vegetables), songpyeon (pine flavored half-moon-shaped rice cake), sollongtang (rice beef noodle soup), kujulpan (stripes of cooked meat and vegetables), and others. All in all, Children’s Day in Korea is an important event that is celebrated with fanfare.