Public holidays in South Korea

Public holidays in South Korea each belong to one or more of three categories:

  • National day (Hangul국경일; Hanja國慶日)
  • National flag raising day (Hangul국기게양일; Hanja國旗揭揚日)
  • Public holiday (Hangul공휴일; Hanja公休日)

Each category has a different legal basis. All national days are also flag raising days.

List of public holidays in South Korea

English name Korean name Transliteration Date Remarks National celebration day Flag raising Day off
New Year's Day 신정 (新正) Sinjeong January 1 The official name of the holiday means New Calendar New Year's Day no no yes
Lunar New Year 설날 Seolnal 1st day of 1st lunar month Also called Seol (설) or Gujeong (Hangul구정; Hanja舊正). The first day of the Lunar calendar. It is one of the most important of the traditional Korean holidays, and is considered a more important holiday than the Gregorian New Year's Day.[1] no no yes (3 days)
Independence Movement Day 3·1절 (三一節) Samiljeol March 1 This day commemorates the March 1st Movement in 1919. On March 1 of this year, 33 Korean nationalists and students declared their nation's independence in Seoul. It started a nationwide civil protest and was a catalyst for the establishment of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea (April 13, 1919). yes yes yes
Children's Day 어린이날 Eorininal May 5 The day on which to esteem the personalities of children and plan for their happiness. In Korea, Children's Day started on May 1, 1922, when 8 persons including Bang Jeong-hwan (방정환) declared the Day and held an anniversary. In 1946, the Day changed to May 5, and became a public holiday in 1975. no no yes
Buddha's Birthday 부처님 오신 날 Bucheonnim Osinnal 8th day of 4th lunar month Formerly called Seokgatansinil (Hangul석가탄신일; Hanja釋迦誕辰日); also referred to as Sawol Chopail (Hangul사월 초파일; Hanja四月初八日). The birthday of Gautama Buddha.[2] no no yes
Memorial Day 현충일 (顯忠日) Hyeonchung-il June 6 The day commemorates the men and women who died while in military service or in the independence movement. On this day, a national commemoration ceremony is held at the Seoul National Cemetery. no half mast yes
Constitution Day 제헌절(制憲節) Jeheonjeol July 17 The day celebrates the promulgation of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea in 1948. yes yes no
Liberation Day 광복절 (光復節) Gwangbokjeol August 15 The day celebrates the national liberation from the Empire of Japan in 1945. On the same day in 1948, the government of the Republic of Korea was established. The word Gwangbok (Hangul광복) means "restoration of light". yes yes yes
Chuseok 추석 (秋夕) Chuseok 15th day of 8th lunar month Also called Han-gawi (Hangul한가위). Korean traditional harvest festival. With Korean New Year, it is one of the most important Korean traditional holidays. As a celebration of the good harvest, Koreans visit their ancestral hometowns and feast on traditional food.[3] no no yes (3 days)
National Foundation Day 개천절 (開天節) Gaecheonjeol October 3 The day celebrates the foundation of Gojoseon, the first state of the Korean nation. According to the Samguk Yusa, Dangun founded Gojoseon on the 3rd day of 10th lunar month, 2333 BC. Today, South Koreans celebrate their national foundation on October 3 according to the Gregorian calendar, for convenience sake. Gaecheonjeol means "Heaven-opened Day". yes yes yes
Hangul Day 한글날 Hangeulnal October 9 The day commemorates the invention (1443) and the proclamation (1446) of hangul, the native alphabet of the Korean language. King Sejong the Great, inventor of hangul, is one of the most honored rulers in Korean history. yes yes yes
Christmas 기독탄신일[4][5] Gidoktansinil December 25 Commonly called Seongtanjeol (Hangul성탄절; Hanja聖誕節), especially among Korean Christians.[6] no no yes
Election days for elections on the termination of terms of office referred to in Article 34 of the Public Official Election Act 「공직선거법」 제34조에 따른 임기만료에 의한 선거의 선거일[4][5] Gongjikseongeobeop jesamsipsajoe ttareun imgimanryoe uihan seongeoeui seongeoil Not fixed. but always Wednesday.[7] See Elections in South Korea. It commonly called Seongeoil (Hangul선거일) or Seongeonal(Hangul선거날)(Election Day), in short. The date of this holiday is limited to regular presidential election day, legislative election day, and local election day. (excluding Early voting day, by-election day, referendum day or unscheduled election day caused by like impeachment.)[8][9] no no yes

National celebration days

These days celebrate events considered joyous to Korea. In the beginning, Independence Declaration Day (March 1) was first stipulated in 1946.[10] After the establishment of the Government of the Republic of Korea in 1948, four major National Celebration Days (Independence Declaration Day, Constitution Day, Liberation Day, National Foundation Day) were provided by "The Law Concerning the National Celebration Days" (국경일에관한법률)[11] in 1949. In 2005, Hangul Day became the 5th National Celebration day.

National flag raising days

All the National Celebration Days, Memorial Day (half staff), Armed Forces Day are provided by Article 8 of the "National Flag Law" (대한민국국기법 제8조).[12] On these days, the raising of the taegukgi at every house and along every roadside is promoted.

Public days off

They are provided by the "Regulations on Holidays of Public Agencies" (관공서의 공휴일에 관한 규정)[4][5] This Regulation originally applied only to government and public offices, but most individual business offices also follow it.

Dates in solar calendar of Lunar New Year's Day, Buddha's Birthday, and Chuseok

Year Lunar New Year's Day Buddha's Birthday Chuseok
1994 February 10 (Thu) May 18 (Wed) September 20 (Tue)
1995 January 31 (Tue) May 7 (Sun) September 9 (Sat)
1996 February 19 (Mon) May 24 (Fri) September 27 (Fri)
1997 February 8 (Sat) May 14 (Wed) September 16 (Tue)
1998 January 28 (Wed) May 3 (Sun) October 5 (Mon)
1999 February 16 (Tue) May 22 (Sat) September 24 (Fri)
2000 February 5 (Sat) May 11 (Thu) September 12 (Tue)
2001 January 24 (Wed) April 30 (Mon) October 1 (Mon)
2002 February 12 (Tue) May 19 (Sun) September 21 (Sat)
2003 February 1 (Sat) May 8 (Thu) September 11 (Thu)
2004 January 22 (Thu) May 26 (Wed) September 28 (Tue)
2005 February 9 (Wed) May 15 (Sun) September 18 (Sun)
2006 January 29 (Sun) May 5 (Fri) October 6 (Fri)
2007 February 18 (Sun) May 24 (Thu) September 25 (Tue)
2008 February 7 (Thu) May 12 (Mon) September 14 (Sun)
2009 January 26 (Mon) May 2 (Sat) October 3 (Sat)
2010 February 14 (Sun) May 21 (Fri) September 22 (Wed)
2011 February 3 (Thu) May 10 (Tue) September 12 (Mon)
2012 January 23 (Mon) May 28 (Mon) September 30 (Sun)
2013 February 10 (Sun) May 17 (Fri) September 19 (Thu)
2014 January 31 (Fri) May 6 (Tue) September 8 (Mon)
2015 February 19 (Thu) May 25 (Mon) September 27 (Sun)
2016 February 8 (Mon) May 14 (Sat) September 15 (Thu)
2017 January 28 (Sat) May 3 (Wed) October 4 (Wed)
2018 February 16 (Fri) May 22 (Tue) September 24 (Mon)
2019 February 5 (Tue) May 12 (Sun) September 13 (Fri)
2020 January 25 (Sat) April 30 (Thu) October 1 (Thu)
2021 February 12 (Fri) May 19 (Wed) September 21 (Tue)
2022 February 1 (Tue) May 8 (Sun) September 10 (Sat)
2023 January 22 (Sun) May 27 (Sat) September 29 (Fri)
2024 February 10 (Sat) May 15 (Wed) September 17 (Tue)
2025 January 29 (Wed) May 5 (Mon) October 6 (Mon)
2026 February 17 (Tue) May 24 (Sun) September 25 (Fri)
2027 February 7 (Sun) May 13 (Thu) September 15 (Wed)
2028 January 27 (Thu) May 2 (Tue) October 3 (Tue)
2029 February 13 (Tue) May 20 (Sun) September 22 (Sat)
2030 February 3 (Sun) May 9 (Thu) September 12 (Thu)
2031 January 23 (Thu) May 28 (Wed) October 1 (Wed)
2032 February 11 (Wed) May 16 (Sun) September 19 (Sun)
2033 January 31 (Mon) May 6 (Fri) September 8 (Thu)
2034 February 19 (Sun) May 25 (Thu) September 27 (Wed)
2035 February 8 (Thu) May 15 (Tue) September 16 (Sun)
2036 January 28 (Mon) May 3 (Sat) October 4 (Sat)
2037 February 15 (Sun) May 22 (Fri) September 24 (Thu)
2038 February 4 (Thu) May 11 (Tue) September 13 (Mon)
2039 January 24 (Mon) April 30 (Sat) October 2 (Sun)
2040 February 12 (Sun) May 18 (Fri) September 21 (Fri)
2041 February 1 (Fri) May 7 (Tue) September 10 (Tue)
2042 January 22 (Wed) May 26 (Mon) September 28 (Sun)
2043 February 10 (Tue) May 16 (Sat) September 17 (Thu)
2044 January 30 (Sat) May 5 (Thu) October 5 (Wed)
2045 February 17 (Fri) May 24 (Wed) September 25 (Mon)
2046 February 6 (Tue) May 13 (Sun) September 15 (Sat)
2047 January 26 (Sat) May 2 (Thu) October 4 (Fri)
2048 February 14 (Fri) May 20 (Wed) September 22 (Tue)
2049 February 2 (Tue) May 9 (Sun) September 11 (Sat)
2050 January 23 (Sun) May 28 (Sat) September 30 (Fri)

See also


  1. ^ "Celebrating Seollal in Korea".
  2. ^ "Korean Language in Culture And Society".
  3. ^ "Celebrating Chuseok".
  4. ^ a b c "관공서의 공휴일에 관한 규정(Regulations on Holidays of Public Agencies)(korean)". 국가법령정보센터. Ministry of Justice. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Regulations on Holidays of Public Agencies(english)".Archived 2018-05-14 at
  6. ^ "Christmas In Korea".
  7. ^ "Article 34 of the Public Official Election Act". 한국법제연구원. Korea Legislation Research Intittute. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  8. ^ Although 9 May 2017 is unscheduled election day caused by impeachment, it has been designated as a temporary holiday.
  9. ^ "Presidential election to be held May 9". Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  10. ^ 慶祝日公布의關한件(The Law Concerning Proclamation of a Celebration Day) Archived 2009-02-03 at
  11. ^ 국경일에 관한 법률(The Law Concerning the National Celebration Days) Archived 2009-02-03 at
  12. ^ 대한민국국기법 (National Flag Law) Archived 2009-02-02 at

External links

2009 in South Korea

Events from the year 2009 in South Korea.

2010 in South Korea

Events in the year 2010 in South Korea.

Buddha's Birthday

Buddha's birthday is a holiday traditionally celebrated in most of East Asia to commemorate the birth of the Prince Siddhartha Gautama, later the Gautama Buddha and founder of Buddhism. It is also celebrated in South and Southeast Asia as Vesak which also acknowledges the enlightenment and death of the Buddha. According to the Theravada Tripitaka scriptures (from Pali, meaning "three baskets"), Gautama was born in Lumbini in ancient India now in modern-day Nepal, in the year 563 B.C., according to the Nepalese Account, and raised in Kapilavastu. At the age of thirty five, he attained enlightenment (nirvana) underneath a Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya (modern day India). He delivered his first sermon at Sarnath, India. At the age of eighty, he died at Kushinagar, India.The exact date of Buddha's birthday is based on the Asian lunisolar calendars. The date for the celebration of Buddha's birthday varies from year to year in the Western Gregorian calendar, but usually falls in April or May. In leap years it may be celebrated in June.

Children's Day

International Children's Day is a day recognized to celebrate children. The day is celebrated on various dates in different countries.

Constitution Day (South Korea)

Constitution Day (Korean: 제헌절) in South Korea is observed on 17 July, the day that the South Korean constitution was proclaimed in 1948. The date was deliberately chosen to match the founding date of 17 July of the Joseon Dynasty.


Gaecheonjeol (Korean: 개천절, hanja: 開天節) is a public holiday in South Korea on 3 October. Also known by the English name National Foundation Day, this holiday celebrates the legendary formation of the first Korean state of Gojoseon in 2333 BC. This date has traditionally been regarded as the date for the founding of the Korean people.

Gaecheonjeol is also recognized in North Korea, although not as a public holiday, with an annual ceremony at the Mausoleum of Tangun, the founder of Gojoseon.

Hangul Day

The Korean Alphabet Day, known as Hangeul Day (한글날) in South Korea, and Chosŏn'gŭl Day in North Korea, is a national Korean commemorative day marking the invention and the proclamation of Hangul (한글; 조선글), the alphabet of the Korean language, by the 15th-century Korean monarch Sejong the Great. It is observed on October 9 in South Korea and on January 15 in North Korea. In 2013, Hangul Day became a national holiday in South Korea.

Index of Korea-related articles (P)

This is a partial list of Korea-related topics beginning with P. For Korean words starting with ㅂ, see also under B.

Index of Korea-related articles (S)

This is a partial list of Korea-related topics beginning with S.


Jultagi or eoreum is traditional Korean performance of tightrope-walking. It is included into South Korea's Important Intangible Cultural Properties number 58.


Korea is a region in East Asia. Since 1948, it has been divided between two distinct sovereign states: North Korea and South Korea. Korea consists of the Korean Peninsula, Jeju Island, and several minor islands near the peninsula. Korea is bordered by China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and neighbours Japan to the east by the Korea Strait and the Sea of Japan (East Sea).

Korea emerged as a singular political entity in 676 AD, after centuries of conflict among the Three Kingdoms of Korea, which were unified as Unified Silla to the south and Balhae to the north. Unified Silla divided into three separate states during the Later Three Kingdoms period. Goryeo, which had succeeded Goguryeo, defeated the two other states and united the Korean Peninsula. Around the same time, Balhae collapsed and its last crown prince fled south to Goryeo. Goryeo (also spelled as Koryŏ), whose name developed into the modern exonym "Korea", was a highly cultured state that created the world's first metal movable type in 1234. However, multiple invasions by the Mongol Empire during the 13th century greatly weakened the nation, which eventually agreed to become a vassal state after decades of fighting. Following military resistance under King Gongmin which ended Mongol political influence in Goryeo, severe political strife followed, and Goryeo eventually fell to a coup led by General Yi Seong-gye, who established Joseon in 1392.

The first 200 years of Joseon were marked by relative peace. During this period, the Korean alphabet was created by Sejong the Great in the 15th century and there was increasing influence of Confucianism. During the later part of the dynasty, Korea's isolationist policy earned it the Western nickname of the "Hermit Kingdom". By the late 19th century, the country became the object of imperial design by the Empire of Japan. After the First Sino-Japanese War, despite the Korean Empire's effort to modernize, it was annexed by Japan in 1910 and ruled by Imperial Japan until the end of World War II in August 1945.

In 1945, the Soviet Union and the United States agreed on the surrender of Japanese forces in Korea in the aftermath of World War II, leaving Korea partitioned along the 38th parallel. The North was under Soviet occupation and the South under U.S. occupation. These circumstances soon became the basis for the division of Korea by the two superpowers, exacerbated by their inability to agree on the terms of Korean independence. The Communist-inspired government in the North received backing from the Soviet Union in opposition to the pro-Western government in the South, leading to Korea's division into two political entities: North Korea (formally the Democratic People's Republic of Korea), and South Korea (formally the Republic of Korea). Tensions between the two resulted in the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. With involvement by foreign troops, the war ended in a stalemate in 1953, but without a formalized peace treaty. This status contributes to the high tensions that continue to divide the peninsula. Both governments of the two Koreas claim to be the sole legitimate government of the region.

Korean calendar

The traditional Korean calendar is a lunisolar calendar, derived from Chinese calendar, like the traditional calendars of other East Asian countries. Dates are calculated from Korea's meridian (135th meridian east in modern time for South Korea), and observances and festivals are based in Korean culture.

The Gregorian calendar was officially adopted in 1896, but traditional holidays and age-reckoning for older generations are still based on the old calendar. The biggest festival in Korea today is Seollal, the first day of the traditional Korean New Year. Other important festivals include Daeboreum also referred to as Boreumdaal (the first full moon), Dano (spring festival) and Chuseok (harvest moon festival), and Samjinnal (spring-opening festival). Other minor festivals include Yudu (summer festival), and Chilseok (monsoon festival).

Korean holidays

Korean holidays may refer to:

Public holidays in North Korea

Public holidays in South Korea

Traditional Korean holidays; see Korean calendar

List of holidays by country

Below are lists of public holidays by country.

Memorial Day (South Korea)

The day to commemorate the men and women who died while in military service during the Korean War and other significant wars or battles.

On this day, a memorial ceremony is held in the National Cemetery in Seoul, first started in 1956. At 10 a.m. on Memorial Day, a siren rings all over the country, and people have silent prayers for one minute. The South Korean flag is flown at half-staff. It is illegal to post pictures of graves of fallen soldiers unless the poster is biologically related to the fallen soldier, otherwise, they can be charged with defamation of character and violation of privacy.

National Liberation Day of Korea

The National Liberation Day of Korea is a holiday celebrated annually on August 15 in both North and South Korea. It commemorates Victory over Japan Day, when U.S. and Soviet forces ended the decades-long Japanese occupation of Korea. It is notable for being the only Korean public holiday celebrated by both North and South Korea.

Parents' Day

Parents' Day is observed in South Korea (May 8) and in the United States (fourth Sunday of July). The South Korean designation was established in 1973, replacing the Mother's Day previously marked on May 8, and includes public and private celebrations. The United States day was created in 1994 under President Bill Clinton. June 1 has also been proclaimed as "Global Day of Parents" by the United Nations as a mark of appreciation for the commitment of parents towards their children. In the Philippines, while it is not strictly observed or celebrated, the first Monday of December each year is proclaimed as Parents' Day.

Student Day (South Korea)

Student Day (Korean: 학생의 날) is the anniversary of the Student Independence Movement against the Japanese rule of Korea. It occurred in 1929, in the city of Gwangju.

In 1953, the National Assembly of South Korea announced the establishment of "Student Day" as a national holiday, celebrated annually on 3 November. In 2006, the holiday's name was changed to Student Independence Movement Day (Korean: 학생독립운동 기념일).

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