While North Korea is an incredibly unique place to visit at any time of the year, there is something extraordinary about visiting the country during a national holiday. North Korea has 71 public holidays to celebrate in total, and they are often revered with military parades, mass dancing, mass games, fireworks, and other celebratory events. Below is our top 5 North Korea holidays to celebrate!
5. Party Foundation Day (10th October)
Party Foundation Day celebrates the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea and takes place during autumn when the weather is cool and the rush of the summer crowds begins to slow down. Mass dances, fireworks are scheduled every year. Mass games and military parades are scheduled for special anniversaries.
During this special season we arrange our annual trip to Mt. Kumgang as it features vivid and multi-coloured orange, green, brown, purple, red foliage.
4. National Day (9th September)
Marking the founding day and independence of North Korea, this is considered a very important North Korea holidays to the locals. Fireworks, mass dancing is always a staple activity on this day and typically the country also schedules a massive military parade that is able to be attended by tourists.
In the midst of summer we arrange our tour to fly northeast from Pyongyang to visit the rural province of North Hamgyong province and stay with our Korean homestay family. We also run our Unseen DPRK tour to coincide with National Day celebrations and explore the entire Pyongyang Metro.
3. Victory Day (27th July)
Celebrating the day the armistice agreement was signed and halted the Korean War with a ceasefire, this is one of the best times to be in the DPRK. The weather is hot, the days are long and typically the evening is spent watching and participating in a mass dance accompanied by fireworks.
We use this particular celebration to partake in our annual trip up to Mt. Paektu which involves chartering our very own Air Koryo flight. One of the most exciting tours we operate throughout the year.
Bonus – Click here to check out this video of YPT’s exclusive trip to Mount Paektu.
2. New Year’s Day (1st January)
New Year’s is absolutely huge in North Korea and coincidentally one of our favourite times to be in the country despite the cold weather. Crowds gather in Kim Il Sung Square to watch live performances from the internationally claimed Moranbong Band, watch ice and snow sculpture competitions and of course.. the countdown and the most impressive fireworks we’ve ever seen. Definitely one of the most unique ways to start your new year.
1. Kim Il Sung Birthday – Day of the Sun (15th April)
The largest and most important holiday in North Korea holidays by far is the birthday of Kim Il Sung also known as “Day of the Sun” in the DPRK. This holiday times itself well as spring is in full effect and locals are longing to leave their homes after a long winter.
North Koreans begin the day by paying respects to various monuments and statues around the city as well as trips to his Mangyondae his native house and Kumsusan Palace of the Sun which is the final resting place of President Kim Il Sung. As the day progresses people head to local parks and restaurants to enjoy their time off with BBQ and songs.