Korea Independence Day, also known as National Liberation Day of Korea, is a significant annual observance that marks the liberation of the Korean Peninsula from 35 years of Japanese colonial rule on August 15, 1945. The day is traditionally known as "Gwangbokjeol," meaning "the day the light returned," reflecting the joy and hope that came with liberation.
The holiday was officially designated in 1949 by South Korea following the end of World War II and the division of the peninsula into two separate nations, with North Korea also celebrating on the same date. Although the day was initially celebrated with anti-Japanese sentiments, the contemporary focus is on recognizing the shared history, heritage, and resilience of the Korean people against colonialism. The freedom fighters and their efforts are commemorated, and ceremonies are performed to celebrate the end of Japanese rule.
The typical celebratory activities include parades, fireworks, traditional performances, and singing the well-known independence song, "Arirang". The South Korean government also grants special pardons, restores the honor of individuals treated as war criminals by the Japanese, and presents awards on this day. Public buildings and homes are adorned with the national flag, known as the Taegukgi. The observance of this crucial day of independence takes place every year on August 15th in both South and North Korea.
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References and related siteswww.splendidtable.org: Kimchi South and North Korean Languages: How Different Are They? www.journals.uchicago.edu: in Korea