Constitution Day in South Korea
Constitution Day is a holiday observed on the 17th of July in South Korea, honoring the anniversary of the proclamation of the first South Korean Constitution by the first National Assembly on this day in 1948. This holiday was established in the late 1940s and has been observed in South Korea ever since.
Over the last few years, this day has changed from a public holiday, on which the general public would receive a day off, to merely a commemorative day that is observed but is not a day off. It is a day observed by current members of the government, with special activities such as marathons.
The History of Constitution Day in South Korea
After WWII, Korea was occupied by Soviet forces in the north and by Allied forces in the south. In 1948, a democratic election for National Assembly members was held in the Allied-controlled portion of South Korea.
These elected officials then created a constitution, one that established a unicameral system with a president. On July 17, 1948, President Syngman Rhee formally adopted this new constitution, and on August 15, 1948, the Republic of Korea was established.
Observing Constitution Day in South Korea
On this commemorative holiday, a ceremony is held with the Chairman of the National Assembly, the President of South Korea, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Ordinary citizens also attend events that highlight the importance of this holiday and hang the national flag on their homes and places of business.
All across the country, special events are also held on this day. One of these events is a marathon in which everyone can participate. It is a day on which all South Koreans can take the time to take pride in their country.