South Korea celebrates Parent’s Day every year on May 8 – but did you know the holiday was known as Mother’s Day until 1973? Today, sons and daughters around the country — and in our Doodle — thank both parents (as well as grandparents) with carnations and other tokens of appreciation. Parents’ Day is a holiday similar to a combination of Father’s Day and Mother’s Day.
Parent’s Day in South Korea
In South Korea, Parent’s Day is annually held on May 8th. Parent’s Day is celebrated by both the public and the government. Family events focus on the parents; popular actions include giving parents Carnations. Public events are led by the Ministry of Health and Welfare include public celebrations and awards.
The origins of Parent’s Day can be traced back to the 1930s. Starting in 1930, some Christian communities began to celebrate Mother’s Day or Parents’ Day. This tradition was combined with Korea’s traditional Confucianism culture to eventually establish Mother’s Day. In 1956, the State Council of South Korea designated May 8th as an annual Mother’s Day. However, the question of Father’s Day was discussed and on March 30, 1973, May 8th was designated as Parents’ Day under Presidential Decree 6615, or the Regulations Concerning Various Holidays (각종 기념일 등에 관한 규정). When Parents’ Day was first established, the entire week with the 8th day was designated to be a week to respect the elderly, but this was abolished in 1997 with October becoming the month designated for respecting the elderly.