Geunrojaui Nal (Labor Day)

May 1st holds special significance in many countries around the world, as it marks International Workers’ Day or Labor Day. In Korea, this day is observed with great enthusiasm, recognizing the invaluable contributions of workers to the nation’s prosperity and development.

Labor Day is not a full public holiday in Korea, but many employers choose to recognise it in acknowledgement of its direct relevance to their employees. The day serves as a reminder of the proud struggle Korean workers have faced to secure safe working conditions, as well as to raise questions about the sustainability of modern Korean working culture.

The roots of Labor Day in Korea can be traced back to the country’s labor movement in the early 20th century. The labor movement gained momentum during the period of Japanese occupation when workers fought against oppressive working conditions and for their rights. After Korea’s liberation in 1945, Labor Day was officially recognized as a public holiday to commemorate the struggles and achievements of workers.

Labor Day in Korea is marked by various events and activities aimed at celebrating and advocating for workers’ rights. One of the notable traditions is the Labor Day parade organized by labor unions and civil society organizations. During the parade, workers from different sectors march through the streets, carrying banners, chanting slogans, and raising awareness about labor issues. As with all holidays, families also often use this time to relax together, enjoying the good weather at this time of year.

The Korean government plays a significant role in recognizing and supporting the contributions of workers. On Labor Day, government officials, including the President and Prime Minister, address the nation, expressing gratitude to workers and reaffirming the government’s commitment to protecting labor rights and promoting a fair and inclusive society.

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