May 8th is Parent’s Day in Korea. It’s a day to remember both Mom and Dad for what they have done for us. It’s also important to note that May 5th was Children’s Day. FYI Children’s Day is a national holiday, while Parent’s Day isn’t. That means, children don’t have to go to school on the 5th, but they do have to go to school on the 8th if it’s a weekday.
On parent’s day, it is very common for people in Korea to give their parents red (mostly) or pink carnations because carnations are see as a sign of love and respect. Depending on your age, you may just give your parents some money, which is a common practice in Korea. People give their parents money on their birthdays and on special days, especially if you are working and your parents are retired.
Also, in schools and in hagwons, children make crafts for their parents. I remember making Mother’s Day cards in school while growing up in Canada. It’s pretty much the same thing in Korea. When I (Tony Teacher) taught English in a public school, I remember seeing kids preparing flower pots and various types of art work for their parents. Parent’s day is an important day in Korea. And most people will definitely visit their parents on Parent’s day.
Even though most people opt to get red carnations for their parents, some people prefer roses. So, we had some orders come in for red and pink roses to be sent to parents in Korea. I’ve also seen people buy clothes for their parents or even wire some money. Actually, money is probably the safest thing you can send, meaning they’ll definitely appreciate receiving it.
This is a shot of some of the flowers we will be using for orders going out on Parent’s day and the day before parent’s day. Some people want the flowers to arrive on Parent’s day, which falls on a Sunday for 2016, but others choose to have their flowers delivered on the day before Parent’s Day. This is probably because a lot of people in Korea go to church or go hiking on Sundays.
What you don’t see in the picture above are the baskets and the other materials required to make the flower baskets that will be delivered to the Moms and Dads scattered around Seoul and Incheon. I’m sure they will be pleasantly surprised once they realize their child or children thought of them.
If you are lucky to be in Korea or in any country where your parents are, just make sure you set aside some time to remember them. The very best thing to do is actually spend time with them. I know that a lot of Koreans arrange a special dinner or lunch with their parents. Another great idea is to take a walk in a park with your parents. Here is a photo of people walking in a park.
However, it really doesn’t matter what you choose to send your parents in Korea, as long as you let them know that you appreciate them. In Korea, people are taught to respect their elders and to listen to their parents. Parent’s day is your chance to appreciate your parents for everything they have done for you. If you can’t afford to send flowers, at the very least, give them a call and tell them that you love them. And if you aren’t used to saying, “I Love You” to your parents, just let them see your face and hear your voice.