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  • 작성자 사진Yu Woo-sang

[Feature: Children] The Origin and Significance of Children’s Day

No.158 / Jun 13, 2022

Children’s Day is an anniversary celebrated in many countries around the world to celebrate children. In Korea, the first celebration under the name of Children’s Day was on May 5, 1923. On March 16, 1922, So-pa Bang Jeong-hwan organized a Saekdonghoe in Tokyo to promote children’s unique culture and art activities and raise children's human rights awareness, which was the direct background of the 23rd Children’s Day Declaration. Issued on May 1, 1923, the Declaration reveals respect for children, such as “releasing children from traditional ethical pressures to allow full personal treatment”, “releasing children from traditional economic pressures to prohibit combustion labor”, and “guarantee homes and social facilities for children to learn in and enjoy.”

However, in the Japanese colonial era, the Children’s Day event and the Children’s Boy movement developed into a class-based anti-Japanese movement and the event was banned. After Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule in 1945, May 5 was once again designated as Children’s Day, and in 1957, the Korean Children’s Charter was declared. In addition, in the Child Welfare Act enacted in 1961, Children’s Day was specified as May 5, and designated as a public holiday in accordance with the Regulations on Public Holidays of Government Offices in 1970. The Children’s Charter was revised in 1988 to include the intention of democratic citizens, but basic values such as the right to grow up in a warm home, the right to health, and the right to have fun inherit the idea of respect for children in the 1923 Children’s Day Declaration. On May 5 every year, a Children’s Day ceremony is held under the auspices of the government and child-related organizations, and events are held to read children’s charters, select exemplary children, and award meritorious children for child welfare projects. In addition, the Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House) celebration includes a process of inviting and comforting children in difficult circumstances such as those from remote areas such as remote islands, head boys and girls, and children in facility protection. Furthermore, various events such as commemorative parties, sports competitions, writing competitions, and art competitions are held. On this day, children receive gifts from their parents and go to amusement facilities with their parents to have a good day. However, Children’s Day events have gradually become commercialized, becoming an important event to increase sales of children’s products in department stores.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Children’s Day. Recently, as events for Children’s Day and the market have grown, many questions have been asked, such as until what age should one be considered a child. Even if you are not a child, Children’s Day must be a festival for everyone.


By Yu Woo-sang, AG Reporter

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