The May 8 is celebrated in South Korea since 1973 as a national day of parents (korean. 어버이 날 -. English Korean Parents Day). Of course, such an event deserves its appropriate appreciation in the calendar of curious holidays from all over the world and its story needs to be told accordingly. What is it about?
Who started South Korean Parents Day?
Although today’s occasion was officially set on March 30, 1973 by Presidential Decree 6615 and the provisions on various public holidays (korean. 각종 기념일 등에 관한 규정 – English Regulations Concerning Various Holidays), its roots go back much further.
A closer look reveals that some Christian communities in the country began to celebrate their own variant of a special day for mothers and parents as early as 1930. Over time, these celebrations mingled with the Confucian tradition of Korea, which officially led to the nationwide introduction of an annual Mother’s Day on May 8th in 1956.
Why is Korean Parents Day falling on May 8?
As a result of this decree, the establishment of a separate Father’s Day as a further holiday was discussed. Ultimately, however, it was decided against an independent variant and in 1973, Mother’s Day was changed to the day of honor for both parents. Since then, this date has been celebrated in South Korea as Parent’s Day.
Originally there was even a whole week around May 8th in honor of the elders of the country, but this was replaced or expanded in 1997 by October as a separate honorary month of respect for old age. In this context, May is also a family month, which, in addition to today’s occasion, also includes Children’s Day (Korean. 어린이 날 – English Children’s Day).
How do South Koreans celebrate Parents’ Day of Honor?
Similar to the traditions of Father’s and Mother’s Day known in our latitudes, the South Korean Parent’s Day is about children showing their parents love, respect and gratitude. A popular tradition here is the giving of clove (see also the US Day of cloves (Engl. National Carnation Day) on 29 January).
In addition to the family atmosphere, there are also numerous celebrations by the state. These are coordinated by the South Korean Ministry of Health and, in addition to numerous public celebrations, also include various award ceremonies.
And for those of you who can’t do anything with it or are looking for suitable additions, the calendar of the curious world days with the US American give- away-a-cupcake day (English. National Give Someone a Cupcake Day), the drinking-one Cola-day (engl. National Have a Coke day), the day of the iris (engl. National Iris day) or the no-socks-day (engl. No Socks day) a number of other occasions and reasons to celebrate.
In this sense: You and your parents have a great Korean Parents Day.