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Korean children have Christmas in the middle of the year -- on Children’s Day.
On May 5 every year, children get special treats, which usually include presents, and go on family outings to amusement parks, zoos and the like.
It has been a public holiday since 1975. There is no school for children, and all salaried workers -- regardless if they have a child or not -- get a day off from work.
The origin of Children’s Day dates back to early 1920s, when Korea was under the rule of imperial Japan.
It was initiated by a group of children’s rights activists led by Bang Jeong-hwan and is regarded as one of the grassroots nationalistic movements that followed the March 1, 1919, uprising, a major watershed in Korea’s struggle for independence. For this reason, celebrations of Children’s Day were largely suppressed under Japanese rule. It was only after the country’s liberation in 1945 that the day became a national celebration.
Bang is remembered to this day as a pioneer for children’s rights.
By Korea Herald (email@example.com