Young Pioneer Tours

Is the birthday of Kim Jong Un a holiday?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock – or are just not that interested in the goings-on of North Korea – I’ll get you up to speed on a certain Kim Jong Un. Kim – or to give him his official title, ‘Marshal Kim Jong Un’, is the current chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, and the supreme leader of North Korea.

Day of the Sun

North Koreans gather at a floral arrangement in honour of Kim Il Sung on the Day of the Sun.

The original founder of North Korea was President Kim Il Sung, who died in 1994. His birthday is celebrated on April 15th – also known as the ‘Day of the Sun and a national holiday. Given that he was basically the Founding Father of the country, you can expect the DPRK to bring out the big guns for this celebration — sometimes quite literally.

Day of the Shining Star

A large portrait of Kim Jong ll standing atop Mount Paektu at sunset.

From 1997-2012 the leader of North Korea was General Kim Jong Il, whose birthday on February 16th was celebrated from 1982. Following his death, this day became known as the Day of the Shining Star.

Whilst it has not been confirmed by domestic or international sources, the birthday of Kim Jong Un is believed to be on January 8th. Similarly, it is unknown if he was born in 1983 or 1984.

The birthday of Kim Jong Un

There are currently no special events coinciding with Kim Jong Un’s birthday – although, as with everything in North Korea, this could (and probably will) change in the future.

Despite the lack of official holiday, we run a number of tours to the DPRK throughout January. Despite the chilly North Korean winter, it’s well worth a visit at this time of year – it’s both cheaper and less crowded, giving you a chance for some great wintertime pictures.

If you’d like to join one of our winter sojourns to the country, check out our extensive winter program for this year and next, or follow our Instagram feed to see some great pictures of the Pyongyang winter wonderland.