The centennial anniversary of Children's Day on May 5 will feature an array of spectacles and events after the lifting of the outdoor mask mandate after two years and eased social distancing measures. This has led to heightened expectations of outdoor activities and events.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism through May 31 will hold "2022 Children's Literature Week" (unofficial title) nationwide including in Seoul, Busan and Daegu. Throughout this month, 40 libraries and literary houses around the country will host a "children's literature stage" featuring exhibitions and performances of children's literature.
The exhibition "Bang Jeong-hwan and the Centennial Anniversary of Korean Children's Stories" (unofficial title) from May 5-26 will display the children's magazine Eorini, which was founded in 1923 by Bang, who proclaimed Children's Day, and 100 classic works of Korean children's literature at the garden in front of the headquarters of Cheondogyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way) in Seoul's Jongno-gu District.
The Children's Museum of the National Museum of Korea on May 3 opened the exhibition "The Child in All of Us" at the former's Special Exhibition Hall. Under the themes "Play," "Gift" and "Conversation," the event allows not only children but also parents to become children and enjoy and communicate through interactive programs.
A wealth of attractions await on Children's Day.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government on May 2 refurbished its large-scale Dream Board at the main entrance of Seoul Metropolitan Library to mark the centennial anniversary of Children's Day. The billboard offers a 3D effect with trick art in which a child with a bright smile looks as if she is coming out through a gap in the library wall.
On May 3, a drawing of the nation's hit cartoon characters Pinkfong and Baby Shark was installed with the phrase "Future of Seoul, Dreaming Children" at an open lawn space of Seoul Plaza in front of Seoul City Hall in the capital's Jung-gu District.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza in the same district from May 5-15 will display a balloon bear 8 m tall designed by renowned pop artist Lim Ji-bin, offering a great photo zone for children.
Select venues will be opened in time for Children's Day.
The nation's first playground hub will be opened at Gwangnaru Hangang Park in Seoul's Gangdong-gu District.
Covering over 6,000 square m, this space has no stairs and features gentle slopes and safety devices to prevent falls by wheelchairs. Featuring swings, climbing nets, sandpit, pull-up bars and gazebos, the playground is for everyone -- toddlers, elementary school students and guardians -- including children with or without disabilities.
Legoland Korea Resort, the nation's first branch of a global theme park, will fittingly be opened on Children's Day in Chuncheon, Gangwon-do Province.
Other venues will offer visitor benefits.
Traditional palaces and royal tombs including the four major palaces of the Joseon Dynasty -- Gyeongbokgung, Deoksugung, Changdeokgung and Changgyeonggung -- as well as Jongmyo Shrine and the Royal Tombs of Joseon will offer free admission on May 5 regardless of nationality or age.
Bang Jeong-hwan (1899-1931), a pioneer of Korean children's literature and independence activist, proclaimed Children's Day on May 1, 1922, to establish a sense of respect for Korean children, who were often oppressed by imperial Japan and adults. The day was suspended in 1939 due to the Japanese colonial government but reestablished on May 5 after national liberation.