Seuseunguinal (Teacher’s Day)

Teacher’s Day, known as “Seonsaengnim-ui Nal” (스승의 날), was first established in 1963 by a group of Red Cross youth team members who visited their former teachers who were ill. The initial celebration was held on May 26, but in 1965, the date was changed to May 15 to commemorate the birth of King Sejong the Great, the creator of the Korean alphabet, Hangul. King Sejong is celebrated for his contributions to education and literacy, making this date particularly significant.

On Teacher’s Day, students and parents show their appreciation through various gestures. One of the most common practices is giving carnations to teachers. These flowers symbolize love and respect and are a heartfelt way for students to express their gratitude.

In recent years, Teacher’s Day celebrations have had to adapt to changing times. The rise of digital communication has made it easier for students and alumni to send messages of thanks from afar. Moreover, concerns over the potential for bribery have led to stricter guidelines around gift-giving in schools. Despite these changes, the core sentiment of the day remains unchanged: a profound appreciation for the role teachers play in shaping individuals and society.

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