15 August 2011

Happy Independence Day

Annually on August 15, South Korea celebrates Gwangbokjeol 광복절 or "Restoration of Light Day", also known as "Victory Over Japan Day" or "Independence Day" (not to be confused with "Declaration of Independence Day" on March 1st), as a national holiday. The day is celebrated with various official ceremonies, parades and activities. The Taegeukgi (national flag) is displayed everywhere, hoisted on poles, hanging from street lamps, attached to windowsills, and draped from buildings.

Listen to the offical Gwangbokjeol anthem at this mp3, provided by the Ministry of Patriots and Veteran Affairs.

The day is often associated with Korean patriots that fought against the Japanese occupation, in particular the independence activist Ahn Joong Gun (after which the Taekwon-Do pattern Joong-Gun is named).

The North Korea equivalent to Gwangbokjeol is known as Jogukhaebangeui nal 조국해방의 날, "Fatherland Liberation Day".

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