Did you enjoy the bank holiday this week? South Korea had a public holiday too, on May 5th. The day is known as Children’s Day, and it’s a day that theme parks, theatres, cinemas and parks will be packed to the brim with families as everyone goes out to play.

Children’s Day is celebrated in other countries apart from South Korea, but it has only been an official holiday in the country since 1975. The idea first came from children’s writer and activist Pang Chon-hwan. He once wrote: “Children are the heroes of tomorrow. May they grow to be gentle, vigorous, and wise.” He named the day as May 1st in 1923. He wanted to gives kids an official day to instil a sense of independence and national pride in the younger generation. The date was moved to May 5th in 1946.

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In Seoul, many museums and theatres put on special kid-centered shows for the week, and colourful lanterns are strung up around parks and streets. Some cities also have parades and mini street festivals. There’s no special food just for this day, but kids generally get to eat their favourite foods, wear new clothes, and get spoiled rotten by everyone.


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British writer and editor living in Japan. Currently studying Japanese, Korean, K-pop dance, and the fine form of 이성종's legs.