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What is a Mass Dance?

A Mass Dance, not to be confused with the Arirang Mass Games, is an event held in socialist countries that marks a celebration for a particular national holiday or event. It was big back when the Soviet Union was around, but only a few countries conduct these performances these days. North Korea is one of them.

Seeing a Mass Dance

Below is a video demonstrating how Mass Dance events are held. The dances go for one hour, rain, snow or shine, and usually consist of seven different dances to lots of Korean songs, occasionally with a live orchestra! Enjoy!

When Mass Dances are held in North Korea, every major township and city partakes. They can involve university students, school students, and public committees. The ones held in Pyongyang, the capital city of the DPRK usually involve university students, the sheer number of which mean that during big holidays there are usually mass dances at numerous points in the city; nearby the Worker’s Party Foundation Monument, outside the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium, near the Arch of Triumph or in Kim Il Sung Square.

Best Times to witness a Mass Dance in North Korea?

National holidays that usually involve a Mass Dance events are, of course, on the birthdays of Kim Il Sung (15th April) and Kim Jong Il (16th February). However there are 71 national holidays in the DPRK, including Military Foundation Day (25th April, the founding of the Korean People’s Army), Victory Day (27th July, The ceasefire of the Korean War), Liberation Day (15th August, when the Japanese left Korea during WWII), National Day (9th September, the DPRK’s independent day) and Party Foundation Day (10th October, when the Workers Party of Korea was founded).

Events usually also held for when the North Koreans have successfully launched a missile, tested a nuclear bomb, or completed a major construction project.  Or, when their leaders achieved something unique. Such as, when Kim Jong Il joined the Worker’s Party of Korea, or when Kim Jong Un was made the Supreme Commander of the Koreans People’s Army.

What is the significance of a mass dance in North Korea?

While seemingly choreographed they are also essentially a cultural part of the DPRK, yes people come en-masse to take part – hence the Mass Dance title, but the masses also seemingly really enjoy it, as will you!

When you witness a mass dance in North Korea more often than not you can expect to be dragged up for a boogie!

Want to see it for yourself? Check out North Korea tours.

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