Of all the holidays in Korea, my children pay attention to today's holiday: May 5th, Children's Day. We left early for the Children's Grand Park, a free national park, where some festivities would be held.
This day was started by Jeong Hwan Bang in 1923 while Korea was under Japanese rule. The oppressed Koreans saw no future for themselves, but they had hope in their children as the future of Korea. Time Magazine 1951 described a Korean Children's Day parade that read "Children are the Nation's Flower." Mr. Bang believed Koreans could take their country back by educating the children. He believed children should be able to dream and be respected, just like adults. Mr. Bang advocated for children's rights, wrote stories and songs, and lectured. Thanks to him we can celebrate this holiday.
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. ~ Jeong Hwan Bang
Since it's a national holiday, there's no school! And most parents are off work so that they can spend the day with their kids. Some take them to the zoo, amusement parks, the national Children's Grand Park, or on picnics. Most of the children receive a gift. (Last year I made the mistake of being in ToysRus on this day, and it was packed!)
You can see more photos in the slideshow below. The Grand Park is wonderful as it has a small zoo, amusement park, playgrounds, a botanical center, and spacious land which is rare in Seoul. I also like seeing the old architecture to remind the people of culture.
I wish our America had a Children's Day. As I researched online, it looks like some people have tried to get one started, but nothing yet. As I say, Every day is Children's Day in America. :)
And lastly, treasure your children today. Give them hugs and kisses and read to them. Especially as many S.Korean parents are mourning over their lost high schoolers from the April 16th ferry tragedy. As of today, there are 242 deaths, 60 still missing.
God bless our children, our future.