The Day of the Foundation of the Republic (인민정권 창건일) is an annual holiday held in North Korea held on September 9th.
Grand National Day is one of the biggest celebrations held in the country every year, along with Day of the Shining Star, Day of the Sun and Party Foundation Day.
History of Grand National Day
The history leading up to September 9, 1948, being proclaimed the Day of the Foundation of the Republic takes place over a few years.
Following the Liberation of Korea in 1945 Korea was divided into American and Soviet Occupation zones.
In July 1948, with talks of reunifying the Penisulla stalled, The Soviet Union called for a session of the People’s Assembly of North Korea (북조선인민회의), the provisional government on the Northern half of the peninsula at the time.
This meeting held between July 9th-10th, 1948, would ratify the enforcement of the DPRK constitution in the northern part of the country in a report made by Kim Il Sung and a decision to hold an election of the first Supreme Peoples Assembly was made to be held on August 25, 1948.
In August, the new Supreme People’s Assembly was elected, and on September 2, the first session of the Supreme People’s Assembly began in Pyongyang.
Come September 9, the foundation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was announced, and Kim Il Sung would become the Premier of the Cabinet and the Head of State of the DPRK.
The first celebrations of the Grand National Holiday took place on September 9, 1949, one year after the official founding of North Korea.
For the next three years during the Korean War, Grand National Day would not be publicly celebrated in any significant way due to the Korean War; however, the Holiday would be mentioned in North Korean Press and Media.
Since the end of the Korean War, this holiday has been celebrated every year throughout the nation. Common activities occurring on this Holiday include musical performances, fireworks, mass dancing, sporting events, visiting Mansudae Grand Monuments and Kumsusan Memorial Palace of the Sun.
Grand National Day has also been used as a time to show off North Korea to the world and as a time to host high-level political delegations.
For example in 1978 for the countries, 30th Anniversary Deng Xiaoping attended in his official capacities as the First Vice Premier of the State Council and the Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
In 2018 for the countries 70th Anniversary Russian Federation Council Chairman Valentina Matviyenko and Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, as well as delegations from Cuba, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, the Dominican Republic, Uganda, and South Africa were in attendance.
On Jubilee years (10th Anniversary, 25th Anniversary, 30th Anniversary etc) It is typical for a Military Parade to be held in Kim Il Sung Square. The last of which was held in 2018 for the country’s 70th Anniversary.
Visiting North Korea during Grand National Day
Grand National Day is one of the most popular times to visit North Korea, and every year YPT arranges several tours to get you in on the festivities.