What are the most important North Korean holidays? In this North Korean Holiday guide we take a look at the main festivities held each year in the DPRK. Here we list some of the main holidays in the DPRK, all of which are a great time to visit North Korea!
One of the most important holidays in the DPRK, this date marks the birthday of Leader Chairman Kim Jong Il. It is a huge holiday celebrated with fireworks and mass gatherings.
A visit to the Kimilsungjia and Kimjongilia flower exhibition centre, where thousands of people gather, is usually arranged on this day as is the case with the Day of the Sun i.e. the anniversary of the birth of President Kim Il Sung.
Mass Dances take place with thousands of locals dancing in a synchronised way. Travellers can of course join in the fun!
Then at nighttime we head to Kim Il Sung Square with tens of thousands of locals where we enjoy a magnificent firework display.
Very cold, in fact the Taedong river and even part of the sea are frozen then! Bundle up!
Marking the anniversary of the birth of Leader President Kim Il Sung, it is also one of the most important dates in the DPRK calendar.
Getting ready for Mass Dances on 15 April. 4.15 is the Birthday of President Kim Il Sung, one of the most important days in the DPRK.
Like on the day of the Shining Star, Mass Dances where thousands of people dance in a synchronised way, take place.
Unlike the day of the Shining Star, temperatures in Korea are not that cold then, meaning that thousands of people in the parks celebrate, dancing, eating and having picnics. It is a fantastic time for us to join them in the celebrations!
There are then huge firework displays in the evening.
A bit chilly in the morning and evening, you will need a thin jacket for then. At noon it warms up.
Given the weather, there are picnics and dances in parks throughout the DPRK on 15 April
Labour day is a fantastic time to be in North Korea. We start the day off going to the funfair at Mount Taeson where we join locals playing games and different sports events. Check our video below to have an idea of what it is like!
In the afternoon we see thousands of locals singing, dancing, eating and having fun at Moran Park. The afternoon is then spent with locals at Moran park.
Beautiful weather. You will have to wear a think jacket / sweater in the morning and in the evening, but it is perfect in the afternoon.
This day marks the end of the Korean War. There are usually Mass Dances to celebrate the occasion.
Mass Dances on 27 July, Victory Day
A bit hot, humid and a bit rainy. Don't let this put you off though! We have tours heading to the east coast where we cool off. The landscape is beautiful then, full of green fields.
Korea was a Japanese colony for decades. This days marks the liberation of the country, 15 August 1945. Picnics and dances take place. They usually have mass dances and street shows too.
Mass Dances on 15 August in Pyongyang to celebrate the liberation of Japanese colonial rule in Korea
Hot & humid. Can rain too.
The DPRK was founded on this day in 1948. This holiday is usually celebrated with Mass Dances, celebrations in the park.
Mass Dances by the Party Foundation Monument in Pyongyang on National Day
On main anniversaries military parades are held too.
Military parade on the 70th Anniversary of National Day, 9 September 2018.
Please note that military parades only tend to be held on major anniversaries of major holidays such as the 60th, 65th, 70th, 75th anniversaries. Below is a video of the parade on the 65th anniversary of National Day in 2013:
Can be a little hot and depending on the year it can be rainy. Though July is the rainy season in DPRK, September can be hit with heavy rains too.
The Workers' Party of Korea was founded in 1945. Celebrations usually consist of mass dances by the Party Foundation Monument. On major anniversaries, such as the 70th, 75th, etc military parades tend to take place.
Check a video of Mass Dances held by the Party Foundation Monument on 10 October to celebrate this day:
The weather starts to cool down then. You will need a thin jacket in the morning / evening. Fields aren't as green as the harvest season is over by then.
This holiday has become more popular the past few years, it is Mothers' Day. You will see mothers in the street dressed in traditional Korean dresses. Dances are arranged too.
Mothers lining up in Nampo city, on the west coast of the DPRK, ready to celebrate Mothers' Day
Winter chill starts to settle in. Whereas you will still see beautiful autumn leaves further south e.g. in Kaesong, there can be very cold days. You will have to bundle up.
Birthday of National Heroine Comrade Kim Jong Suk also known in Korea as Mother Kim Jong Suk. Wife of President Kim Il Sung and mother of Chairman Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Suk fought against the Japanese. This day is marked with Mass Dances.
Mass Dances by the Party Foundation Monument in Pyongyang on 24 December. We were the first group to celebrate this holiday in the DPRK back back in 2012.
Cold! Bring a lot of layers. Winter has settled in! This still does not put locals off from mass dance events.
New Year's Eve is indeed a great time to be in Pyongyang. Tens of thousands of people gather at Kim Il Sung Square at night where different shows are held until the New Year's count down. This is then topped up with an impressive firework display.
Thousands of locals gather at Kim Il Sung Square for the New Year!
Brrrr... They usually have ice festivals then. No need to say more.
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