Whilst the world mostly sets its clock to when Jesus was born, there are in fact a ton of other calendars used by people around the world. There’s the Russians that hold Christmas two weeks after the event, there’s the Persians where it is currently the year 1398, for Jews its 5779, and the Chinese like to name things after animals. I think it’s a pig this year.
North Korea also have their own way of saying what the year is, and that is the Juche Calendar. The Juche calendar is the system for year naming in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and is named after the state ideology of North Korea, known as Juche.
The Juche calendar has influence from historical Korean calendars, and indeed of the region, where royal houses would (and in Japan still do) have era names.
The Juche Calendar was initiated in 1997 on the third anniversary of the death of President Kim Il Sung, the same year that his birthday – and the national holiday that goes with it – was renamed the Day of the Sun.
The Juche calendar starts on the day of President Kim Il Sung’s birth –April 16th, 1912 – and was thus referred to as Juche 1. 2011 thus became Juche 100. You get the picture!
On September 9th 1997 all publications in North Korea began printing dates which the actual year, as well as its Juche equivalent, so as not to confuse us!
If you need a Juche calendar convertor check out the following link or follow my very simple rule of thumb: take the year of the Gregorian calendar (that’s the year we are in) and minus 1911 from it. 2019 therefore becomes Juche 108. Nice and easy, eh? Now you can start counting your dates the Juche way!
Be a Juche boy (or girl) living in a Juche world on one of our North Korea tours!.