Public holidays in North Korea
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This is a list of public holidays in North Korea. See also the Korean calendar for a list of traditional holidays. As of 2017[update], the North Korean calendar has 71 official public holidays, including Sundays. In the past, North Koreans relied on rations provided by the state on public holidays for feasts. Recently, with marketization people are able to save up money and buy the goods they need.
The Day of the Sun, the birthday of its founder and first leader Kim Il-sung, on 15 April is the most important holiday in the country. The second most important is the Day of the Shining Star on 16 February, the birthday of Kim Jong-il. As of 2019[update], Kim Jong-un's birthday is still not a public holiday. Other holidays of great importance are the Party Foundation Day (10 October) and the Day of the Foundation of the Republic (9 September). North Koreans often schedule their wedding days on important national holidays.
North Korea regularly carries out missile and nuclear tests on such important anniversaries.
|Date||English name||Notes||Remarks||Local name|
|1 January||New Year's Day||Celebrates the opening of the Gregorian New Year.|
|15 January||Chosongul Day||The day commemorates the invention (1443) and the proclamation (1446) of Chosongul, the native alphabet of the Korean language. King Sejong the Great, inventor of Chosongul, is one of the most honored rulers in Korean history.|
|8 February||Army Day||The Korean People's Army was established on 8 February 1948, and that day was celebrated as Army Day until 1978, when it was moved to 25 April (q.v.). It was reinstated as a public holiday in 2015.|
|14 February||Generalissimo Day||Honors the day when Kim Jong-il received the title "Generalissimo of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea" posthumously in 2012.|
|16 February||Day of the Shining Star||Kim Jong-il's birthday.||2 days|
|2 March||Tree Planting Day||People across the country plant trees.|
|8 March||International Women's Day|
|last day of 12th lunar month||Seotdal Geumeum||Korean New Year, based on the Korean calendar.|
|1st day of 1st lunar month||Seollal||Korean New Year, based on the Korean calendar.|
|15 April||Day of the Sun||Birthday of Kim Il-sung.||3 days||태양절|
|21 April||Kang Pan-sok's birthday||Commemorates the birth of Kim Il-sung's mother.|
|25 April||Military Foundation Day||Kim Il-Sung moved date from 8 February to the date of establishment of his guerilla army in 1932, considered the predecessor of the Korean People's Army.||인민군 창건일|
|15th day of 1st lunar month||Daeboreum||Based on the Korean calendar.|
|1st day of 1st lunar month||Meoseumnal||Based on the Korean calendar.|
|3rd day of 3rd lunar month||Samjinnal||Based on the Korean calendar.|
|105th day of after Winter Solstice||Hansik||Based on the Korean calendar.|
|8th day of 4th lunar month||Chopail||Based on the Korean calendar.|
|1 May||Labour Day||Celebrates the economic and social achievements of workers.|
|6 June||Korean Children's Union Foundation Day||Public holiday marking the 1946 foundation of the Korean Children's Union.|
|19 June||Anniversary of Kim Jong Il's commencement of work in the Workers' Party Central Committee||Officially a public holiday since 2015 but celebrated unofficially before, this holiday marks Kim Jong-il's 1964 graduation from Kim Il-sung University and start of work in the party organization.|
|5th day of 5th lunar month||Surinal||Based on the Korean calendar.|
|3 July||Day of the Strategic Forces||A new holiday established on 24 June 2016 by Ordinance No. 1177 of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly which commemorates the foundation of the Korean People's Army Strategic Force on 3 July 1999.|
|27 July||Day of Victory in the Great Fatherland Liberation War||End of the Korean War in 1953.||조국해방전쟁 승리 기념일|
|15 August||Liberation Day||Established after the liberation of Korea in 1945.||조국해방기념일|
|25 August||Day of Songun||A new holiday established in 2013 commemorating Kim Jong-il's inspection visit to the Seoul Ryu Kyong Su Guards 105th Armored Division of the Korean People's Army on August 25, 1960, which is always regarded as the "start of the Songun revolutionary leadership" by the North Korean government.||광명성절|
|9 September||Day of the Foundation of the Republic||Founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in 1948.||인민정권 창건일|
|15th day of 6th lunar month||Yudu||Based on the Korean calendar.|
|7th day of 7th lunar month||Chilseok||Based on the Korean calendar.|
|15th day of 7th lunar month||Baekjung||Based on the Korean calendar.|
|15th day of 8th lunar month||Hangawi||Based on the Korean calendar.|
|10 October||Party Foundation Day||Founding of the Workers' Party of Korea in 1945.||노동당 창건일|
|9th day of 9th lunar month||Jungyangjeol||Based on the Korean calendar.|
|16 November||Mother's Day||A new holiday from 2012 onward honoring all mothers.|
|20 December||Dongji||Winter solstice, based on the Korean calendar.|
|24 December||Kim Jong-suk's birthday||Commemorates the birth of Kim Jong-il's mother.|
|27 December||Constitution Day||Enactment of the Socialist Constitution of North Korea in 1972.|
|31 December||New Year's Eve||Celebrates the closing of the Gregorian New Year.|
- Kang Mi Jin (13 January 2017). "Official 2017 Calendar Seen as out of Touch". Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- "North Koreans make the most of Liberation Day". dailynk.com. Retrieved 2016-08-18.
- Calum MacLeod (26 April 2013). "Korean defectors recall 'Day of the Sun'". USA TODAY. Contributing: Jueyoung Song, Duck Hwa Hong. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
- Barbra Kim (21 February 2012). "What Really Glimmers Behind the 'Day of the Shining Star'". cogitASIA. CSIS Asia Program. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- "Kim Jong-un's birthday remains unmarked in 2019 calendars". The Korean Herald. Yonhap. 4 December 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
- Yonhap News Agency, Seoul (27 December 2002). North Korea Handbook. M.E. Sharpe. pp. 451–452. ISBN 978-0-7656-3523-5.
- Toimela, Markku; Aalto, Kaj (2017). Salakahvilla Pohjois-Koreassa: Markku Toimelan jännittävä tie Pohjois-Korean luottomieheksi (in Finnish). Jyväskylä: Docendo. p. 40. ISBN 978-952-291-369-2.
- Shinkman, Paul D. (4 October 2017). "CIA Official Predicts North Korean Provocation on Columbus Day". US News & World Report. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
- Seol Song Ah (7 December 2015). "Kim Jong Un's birthday still not a holiday". Daily NK. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- Cho Jong Ik (December 25, 2013). "2014 Calendar Reveals Few Surprises". DailyNK. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
- "Day of Shining Star to Be Marked in Norway". Korean Central News Agency. February 12, 2015. Archived from the original on February 13, 2015. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
- Tree-Planting Day in the DPR-Korea embodies Socialist and traditional Asian Cultural Values
- Tree-planting Day Marked in DPRK
- on YouTube
- Lee Sang Yong (16 December 2014). "North Korea's Official 2015 Calendar Revealed". Daily NK. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- on YouTube