Memorial Day in South Korea

Observed on June 6th every year in South Korea, Memorial Day is a public holiday that honors the soldiers who lost their lives fighting in the Korean War and other conflicts undertaken by the nation.

On this day, a variety of events take place, including silent prayers, memorial services, siren rings, and the raising of the South Korean flag. It’s also a day off for the general public, as it has been a public holiday since the 1950s.

This means that government offices, schools, and many businesses are closed. It also means that many people have the day off.

The History of Memorial Day in South Korea

On June 25th, 1950, troops from Communist-ruled North Korea invaded South Korea, thus sparking the Korean War. Because the Soviet Union was boycotting the United Nations, they didn’t get a veto vote, and the UN was able to intervene in the war.

The Chinese and the Soviets backed North Korea, but the conflict would come to a stalemate. In 1953, an armistice was signed that split the country along the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.

The first Memorial Day ceremony in South Korea was held at Seoul National Cemetery on June 6th, 1956. A siren sounded at 10 a.m., and people observed one minute of silent prayer.

Interesting Facts About South Korea

We wanted to take a deeper look into the history and culture of South Korea, so we did a little bit of additional research. In the process, we’ve come across some interesting facts about this country, and we’d like to share these facts with anyone reading this article about Memorial Day.

  • Technically, North and South Korea are still at war. Both countries maintain a ceasefire according to the 1953 Armistice.
  • South Korea is divided into nine provinces.
  • In South Korea, Wi-Fi is available everywhere, and the country has some of the highest Wi-Fi speeds in the world.
  • South Korea’s official name is the Republic of Korea.
  • South Korea has more than 4,000 islands.
  • There are three major rivers in South Korea: the Kum River, the Han River, and the Naktong River.
  • The Naktong River is South Korea’s longest river and flows south from the Taebaek Mountains for 325 miles.
  • All South Korean males are required to serve in the military.

Observing Memorial Day in South Korea

On Memorial Day, people all across South Korea pray and lay flowers on the graves of the war dead. It’s also common for people to adorn their homes with the South Korean flag.

This flag is also raised at half-mast across the country, as politicians give moving memorial speeches. People can spread the news about this holiday on the internet using the hashtag #MemorialDaySouthKorea.

Where is it celebrated?
South Korea (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
June 6 Thursday
Next year (2025)
June 6 Friday
Last year (2023)
June 6 Tuesday