Chosun People’s Army Foundation Day

Chosun People’s Army Foundation Day is a public holiday in North Korea that is observed annually on April 25th. Also known as Korean People’s Army Foundation Day and Military Foundation Day, this holiday commemorates the day when Kim Il-Sung’s guerrilla army was established in 1932 to fight against Japanese colonial rule.

As important as this holiday was to the people of North Korea, it did not become an official holiday in the country until May of 2020. This is when April 25th was designated as the official celebration of Chosun People’s Army Foundation Day annually. It is now celebrated in an official capacity every year.

The History of Chosun People’s Army Foundation Day

To fight against Japanese colonialism in Korea, Kim Il-Sung organized a guerrilla army in 1932. This event is considered to be the predecessor of the Korean People’s Army. However, the force would not become an official army until 1948 when the Soviet Union recognized it as the army for North Korea. On February 8, 1948, the first parade for this new army was held in North Korea.

February 8th remained as the date for Chosun People’s Army Foundation Day until 1978. That year, it was changed to April 25th, and it has been held on that date every year since—except for an exception in 2018 when the holiday was observed on February 8th temporarily.

Observing Chosun People’s Army Foundation Day

Celebrations for this holiday across North Korea are widespread. Not only is there a commemorative assembly in the capital for this holiday, but there are also military parades, exhibits, and concerts all across the country.

On this day, some service members in North Korea will also receive a day off from their normal duties to take part in the celebrations. Since it is a public holiday, government offices and schools are closed for the day, as are most businesses.

Where is it celebrated?
North Korea (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
April 25 Thursday
Next year (2025)
April 25 Friday
Last year (2023)
April 25 Tuesday