What are the 6 biggest Holidays in North Korea?
North Korea famously likes to celebrate a good holiday. Usually they do this several times per year. Think of goose stepping soldiers, military parades, mass dances and fireworks. You know; classic North Korean imagery. Without a doubt, the DPRK likes to put on a show. Military parades, however, are only reserved for big anniversary celebrations (50th, 75th anniversary etc) which change each year. Typically for a non anniversary event you can expect a mass dance, concert event, locals celebrating in parks and a fireworks display. So what are the main holidays in North Korea and when should you travel there to celebrate with the locals?
1. Day of the Sun
April 15th – the biggest day in the North Korean calendar. This is the birthday of North Korean founder and Eternal President Kim Il Sung. Big events take place around the country such as mass performances, exhibitions and concerts. Citizens are given two days off and receive extra rations of more luxury foods like meat & eggs. It’s basically the North Korean equivalent of Christmas.
2. Victory Day
July 27th – This commemorates the victory over the Americans in the Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War) in 1953. North Koreans have a different version of the events of this war. The narrative there is that the war was provoked by the Americans and that victory was eventually achieved by the North. Check out our Victory Day Tour or even travel to the remote volcano of Mount Paektu on our Victory Day & Mount Paektu Tour.
3. Liberation Day
August 15th – This marks the Liberation of Korea from Imperial Japan in 1945. The Korean peninsula had long been brutally occupied by Japan throughout the early 20th Century. The holiday is marked in both North & South Korea.
See our Liberation Day Tour for more info.
4. Party Foundation Day
5. National Day
May 1st – International workers day is marked throughout much of the world. It’s a big family friendly one in North Korea. There’s a lot going on in the parks and recreational areas with games, singing and dancing going on. The weather is starting to warm up too so it’s a perfect time to travel to North Korea.
Check out our May Day tour itinerary! It’s a big one with three different tour length options that take you all over the DPRK.