Day Of Songun

The Day of Songun is a public holiday that is observed in North Korea annually on August 25th. This holiday was first celebrated in 1960 to commemorate the beginning of Kim Jong-il’s military-first, or Songun, leadership. It would not be elevated to the status of an official holiday until Kim Jong-un did so in 2013.

It has since become a holiday that is completely associated with Kim Jong-un and is used as a tool to reinforce his legitimacy to rule and the preternatural military abilities of the family. Because it is associated with Kim Jong-il, it is a holiday that is often used as a placeholder for his birthday since his actual birthday has not been added to North Korea’s official holiday calendar.

The History of the Day of Songun

In 1960, the anniversary of President Kim Il Sung’s visit to the 105th Armored Division was commemorated. This tank division was part of the main advance during the Korean War from Seoul to Taejon.

The visit to this division was symbolic to mark the birth of Kim Jong-il’s military leadership. As important as this day was, however, it was not an official holiday. That would not happen until Kim Jong-il made it an official holiday in August of 2013. This date is significant because it is the 53rd anniversary of the original event.

Observing the Day of Songun

In North Korea, this holiday is marked by people visiting historic sites to lay flowers at the monuments dedicated to the military and to government leadership. It is also marked with mass dancing events, military parades, and speeches given by military personnel.

Where is it celebrated?
North Korea (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
August 25 Sunday
Next year (2025)
August 25 Monday
Last year (2023)
August 25 Friday