From the Archives: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Children’s Day in Korea

May 5th is Children’s Day in Korea — but it wasn’t always that way.

There is an interesting history about the holiday in the country. Here are five quick facts about Children’s Day that you may not know.


1. Children’s Day in Korea was established in 1923

The holiday was first founded by famed children’s writer Bang Chong-hwan in 1923 as a way to instill independence and national pride for kids.

2. It wasn’t always called Children’s Day

Children’s Day was actually known as “Boy’s Day” until 1975 when it was finally designated a national holiday.

3. It used to be on May 1st

The holiday was moved to May 5th because it overlapped with Labor Day in Korea.

4. Japan tried to stop the celebration of the holiday

During the Japanese occupation of Korea, the authorities in Seoul tried to stop gatherings of families. After its independence in 1945, Korean’s revived the holiday to celebrate children.

5. The holiday was actually celebrated 500 years ago

Celebrated on May 5th, Suri Day, which means the first five days, was considered one of the four great holidays in Korea. Similar to a chaesa, or bowing ceremony day, Korean’s would dress in new clothes and lay out food for their ancestors, as well as participate in traditional games.

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