Today marks Parents' Day in South Korea. Now, as opposed to Children's Day, which is a public holiday where schools and businesses close and gifts are bought, Parents' Day is not. Which made it very hard for me to find any information on this holiday to share. The two things of note that I did see were that there's something about one carnation (anyone know what that is about?!) being given with a gift and there is a song that the children sing. Ironic that in a culture where ancestor worship plays a big part, Parents' Day is second fiddle to Children's Day. Maybe because every day is supposed to be Parents' Day? Anyway, I love the thought of one combined date-specific parent's day, as opposed to the two we celebrate here in the US. Happy Parent's Day! ***UPDATE: Since writing this post, someone in one of my yahoo groups pointed out this link, which gives a pretty good description of Parents' Day:
Korea Celebrates Parents' Day May 8 in Korea is a day of honoring mothers and fathers for their extraordinary feats in nurturing and instilling strong values and principles in their children.
Based on Korea's deep-rooted Confucian notion of filial duty and promoting the traditional family system, the history of the day goes back to 1973 when it was first officially proclaimed "Parents' Day." That means Thursday marked its 36th anniversary.
Flowers and cake shops were flooded as people traditionally celebrate by presenting carnations and snacks to their parents.
But steering away from the conventional way of celebrating the special day, some washed their parents' feet to show their respect and thanks while residential centers for the elderly nationwide held performances and concerts.
For parents who do not have children to take care of them, volunteers visited residential centers to offer free makeovers and medical treatment.
Gifts are an important part of the day. According to a survey by Real Meter, cash topped parents' wish lists, followed by dining out, while specially-designed shoes and health-related gifts such as ginseng and electric massagers also made it on the chart.