Coming-of-Age Day is a special day to recognize that twenty-year-old people are no longer children. After this day, they should be aware of their social responsibilities, rights and duties. The day is appointed as the third Monday in May each year, and the origin of this day is the adult ritual during the Koryeo dynasty. The adult ritual was started by Gwang-jong, the fourth King of Koryeo, and involved putting Wonbok, which was the special adult dress worn for rituals between Koryeo and China, on his first son, Yu. The adult ritual became more common in the Joseon dynasty, but the ritual disappeared in the 20th century due to the spread of Enlightenment thought. Coming-of-Age Day was restarted in 1973.
Effects of adulthood include the acquisition of voting rights and other rights, as well as the end of legal age restrictions on smoking and drinking according to public law, and also complete legal personhood, and the right to marry without parents’ agreement according to private law.
In the past, Coming-of-Age Day was an important event for twenty-year-olds and their families. After that day, everybody would deal with twenty-year-old people as adults, and no longer as children. However, the day’s meaning has changed, and it is now just an annual tradition.
In Korea, many people present perfume, roses and kisses to twenty-year-olds to celebrate their special day. Perfume means "remember me for a long time," the rose means love and respect, and the kiss is a promise of eternal love.
Annually, CWNU's general students' association holds a special celebration in front of Bongrim Student Hall. They give red roses and cotton candy to students, especially twenty-year-olds, to celebrate their Coming-of-Age Day last year.
Kim Dae-gon -
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