The third Monday of May is celebrated as Coming of Age Day for young South Koreans, marking their transition to adulthood.
This year, some 630-thousand people born in the year 2000 are starting a new chapter of their lives, which was celebrated at the Seoul Donhwamun Traditional Theater.
"Dozens of youth who are turning 20 years old gathered here, to celebrate the coming of age with their families and friends."
These celebrations date back to the early 10th century during the Goryeo Dynasty. Tradition would have young men and women take on the ways of adults in their grooming and dress -- the men would tie their hair into a topknot and don the traditional horsehair head dress called a gat -- and the women would roll their hair into a bun with the traditional jade hairpin called a binyeo.
"Our whole family came to celebrate a big day for my son."
"I'm glad to be able to spend the day with my family. I also learned a lot about Hanbok. I'm looking forward to a happy life with my family. Love you, mom and dad."
"I hadn't really thought of myself as an adult since I'm still a student and economically dependant on my parents. But today got me thinking about what being an adult means."
Participants made their own hairpieces and listened to a brief lecture about the history of this day and their responsibilities and duties as grownups.
"It's a ritual acknoledging that a child has become an adult. It's one way we learn to become responsible members of society."
These adults can now vote. They can drive a car, choose to get married, drink alcohol or smoke.
So, events like this are held throughout the country to encourage new adults, with their freedom, to use it wisely.
Lee Min-sun Arirang News.