National Day in North Korea
In North Korea, the 9th of September is known by a variety of different names, but all the names describe the same holiday. This day is called Nine-Nine Day, Day of the Foundation of the Republic, and Republic Day. However, the name that it is most commonly known as is National Day or Grand National Day.
This holiday commemorates the founding of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on this date in 1948. Since this day is a public holiday in North Korea, it is a day off for the general population, and businesses, schools, and non-essential government departments are closed for the day.
The History of National Day in Korea
After WWII, Imperial Japan relinquished control of Korea to American and Soviet forces. The country was divided along the 38th parallel into zones of occupation that split the country into two halves. The northern half was occupied by the Soviet Union and the southern half was occupied by the U.S.
In the north, a Soviet military regime was established, and a Supreme People’s Assembly was elected in August of 1948. On September 3, 1948, a new constitution was then put into effect. Kim Il-sung then became the Premier of the country, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was created on September 9, 1948.
Observing National Day in Korea
This holiday is celebrated widely across Korea, although it is not nearly as popular or celebrated with as much enthusiasm as the holidays that celebrate North Korea’s leaders. It is usually celebrated with military parades, marching bands, and other official state ceremonies. It is also a day where there are special art exhibitions and performances.
One thing that should be mentioned is that this day is also when North Korean children are admitted to the Young Pioneer Corps. This organization is for children aged 6 years to 15 years old and is linked politically to the Workers’ Party of Korea.