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Korean National Liberation Day - 광복절 | aka Korean Independence Day

안녕하세요. This is Kynnede, and today's post will be about the National Liberation Day of Korea.


Also known as Korean Independence Day, it's one of the most important national holidays in South Korea. This holiday is distinguished by stories of perseverance, nationalism, and national pride.


In South Korea, National Liberation Day is called 광복절, which means "Restoration of Light." The name represents the lifting of the shadow that was cast by the Japanese rule over the peninsula. The three Korean characters mean:

광 - light

복 - restoration

절 - holiday


National Liberation Day of Korea is celebrated annually on August 15th.


Korean Independence Day

The word "restoration" is used rather than the word "independence" (독립). The reason why is to highlight the fact that Korea has a long and proud history and that the Korean nation was "restored" in 1945, rather than "founded."


Many Koreans say "Korean Liberation Day" or "National Liberation Day of Korea" for this holiday.


The History of the National Liberation Day of Korea

Korea Under Japanese Rule

Korea has been invaded numerous times and undergone many hardships, but one of the worst periods was when Korea became a colony of Japan in the first half of the 20th century. Koreans were forced to have Japanese names, and many Koreans were forcibly enlisted to provide labor for Japan. Also, they were coercively drafted into the Japanese army towards the end of WWII. During the oppression, many Koreans stood up against the Japanese and often paid with their lives for their defiance.


Korean Independence from the Japanese

In 1945, Korea was finally liberated from its Japanese rulers after 25 years. Three years later, on August 15, 1948, the Republic of Korea was officially established.


How is the National Liberation Day celebrated in South Korea?

If you travel to the Jamsil in South Korea, between the Olympic Stadium and Olympic Park, you’ll notice the flags of different world countries hung in the middle of the road.


Every now and again, all of the flags are taken down and are replaced with the national flag. When this happens, you’ll know that there’s a national holiday coming up.


Local governments hang up the national Korean flag on streetlights and outside of public buildings.


Korean flags can be seen hanging from store windows and apartments around the country. There are some firework displays on 광복절. You can also see citizens hanging flags on their windows and hear or see public announcements reminding people to hang their flag if your apartment has a patriotic owner.


The Korean government holds an official ceremony and plays an official song on this day. They can also give special pardons to prisoners.


That’s it for today! I hope you have a great day and sorry for posting this late! Let me know what you think in the comments below. Smooches 💋💋


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