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Celebrating Children’s Day in South Korea Amid COVID-19

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It is a well-known fact that most parents in South Korea spend hours working to support the family. That's why everybody is looking forward to Children’s Day, a memorable day for the youngsters. Workers are given a day away from work, and children are given a break day from school.

Children's Day is a special day for the people in South Korea for it is one of the celebrated Korean national holidays. It is officially celebrated on May 5, and May 1 to 7 is considered Children's Week across the country.

In 1923, Children’s Day/eorininal (어린이날) in Korea was established to honor children and to instill independence and national pride for kids. It was founded by the children’s literature writer, Bang Jeong-Hwan who penned “Children are the heroes of tomorrow. May they grow to be gentle, vigorous, and wise.”

Bang Jeong Hwan (방정환)

We have kababayan (fellow Filipinos) in South Korea who are married to South Koreans and blessed with beautiful children. For them, it is very important for parents to spend quality time with their children especially during Children’s Day. Giving their kids good memories and making them feel important, cared for, respected, and loved, could nurture children to grow better in society.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, every celebration was normal. Many families do outside activities to enjoy the moment. Usually, parents take their children to an amusement park to enjoy the rides or have a picnic in the park sharing their favorite food like chicken, hamburgers, pizza, and ice cream. It is surely a festivity for children of all ages.

Lots of establishments in the country also prepare programs and activities for children. Giving gifts to children is also a must. Parents consider shoes, clothes, toys, or books as their gifts to their kids. Giving money is a bonus for their children, too.

As we face the battle against COVID-19, rules are needed to be taken seriously to mitigate the spread of the virus. In 2020, President Moon Jae-in and First Lady Kim Jung-sook have impressed children across the country by giving their wishes virtually using the format of Minecraft, a well-known sandbox video game.

“Last year was the first year to celebrate Children's Day amidst pandemic but we still tried and managed to go to a park nearby our place with all the precautionary measures and following all the safety protocols, but not to have a picnic but just to let them breathe fresh air since that they had been stuck in the house for months. And probably this year, we might just celebrate Children's Day at the comfort of our home,” shared Anna Lee, one of the Filipino parents who reside in South Korea.


Another Filipina mother living in South Korea also shared that last year, events for children were suspended and the park they used to visit with their children was closed due to COVID-19. It had been a celebration in silence for safety. They only stayed at home. Despite the situation, the parents still made an effort to celebrate Children’s Day. Gifts were given to their kids and for this year, she's hoping that parks are open for them to celebrate this special event.

How about you? What do you think?

How will you spend this special day knowing that we’re still battling COVID-19?

Children’s Day may be celebrated differently this year, but let’s hope for a better tomorrow especially for the future generation, the children of today!

[credits: Wikipedia, campyosef, Anna Lee]

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PinoySeoul.com: Celebrating Children’s Day in South Korea Amid COVID-19
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