Much like any other country, North Korea has its fair share of holidays, festivals and celebratory days. And much like any tour company specialising in tours to a particular country, we try to take advantage of as many of these as possible.
With that in mind, here’s a comprehensive guide to all of the holidays and festivals that will be taking place in the DPRK in 2020.
Not all that much to say about this holiday, except to say that we run the most popular tour to visit the DPRK during this period. Expect fireworks, live music, karaoke and drinks.
Conveniently at the same time as Chinese New Year, which makes it a great time to escape the Middle Kingdom (for fellow expats in China that want to visit the DPRK).
Cheongwoldaeboreum (8th February 2020)
A public holiday for all North Koreans, and a traditional one based on the Lunar Calendar (Korean Calendar). Generally not one for tourists.
Day of the Shining Star (16th-17th February 2020)
This festival marks the birthday of General Kim Jong-Il, is one of our most popular tours, and is one of the best times to be in North Korea. Although it is quite cold.
Day of the Sun (15th April 2020)
This celebrates the birthday of President Kim Il Sung, the founder of North Korea. The biggest festival tour North Korea has to offer; factor in the weather and a fabulous itinerary, and you’ve got a stew classic tour going on!
Army Day (25th April 2020)
Army Day, or more specifically Military Foundation Day, sometimes has a military parade and always has a YPT tour!
International Workers’ Day (May 1st 2020)
One of our favourite tours, with 2020 marking 12 years of YPT! The weather is hot and you get to play football and drink with the locals in a park. Happy days.
Korean Children’s Foundation Youth Day (6th June 2020)
Also called Children’s Day! Another great summer tour, which will involve a trip to the School Children’s Palace in Pyongyang.
Victory Day (27th July 2020)
Otherwise known as the Day of Victory in the Glorious Fatherland Liberation War. Quite the mouthful! Basically, this day celebrates North Korea’s victory in the Korean War. We always have a popular tour for this.
National Liberation Day of Korea (15th August 2020)
When Kim Il Sung Liberated Korea from Japan (Russia helped a bit). A very popular holiday in Korea – mass dancing and lots of fun on this tour.
Day of Songun (August 25th 2020)
This holiday celebrates the Songun (military first) ideology of General Kim Jong Il. Not a major holiday, but a good time to be in the country.
Party Foundation Day (10th October 2020)
Celebrating the formation of what would become the Workers’ Party of Korea. Depending on the year this can be a major event, and one we always run tours for.
Mother’s Day (14th November 2020)
Not really a tour holiday, but even North Korea has a mother’s day! Be nice to your guides if you happen to be in country at this time. Because they are like mothers, even if they’re not women we suppose?
Constitution Day (December 27th 2020)
Celebrating the creation of the first constitution of the DPRK, this falls between our Christmas and New Year’s tour. Not a major holiday, but hitting any festival in North Korea is always fun.
There it is – our comprehensive guide to North Korean festivals. The only thing left to do is for you to book time off!