Day of the Sun

Day of the Sun
Korean name
Chosŏn'gŭl
태양절
Hancha
太陽節[1]
Revised RomanizationTaeyangjeol[2]
McCune–ReischauerT'aeyang-jŏl[3]
Kim Il Sung Birthday Celebrations April 15, 2014 (14056865633).jpg
A flower exhibition of Kimilsungias on the Day of the Sun at the Kimilsungia-Kimjongilia Exhibition House
Also calledSun's Day[4]
Observed byNorth Korea
SignificanceBirth of Kim Il-sung (1912)
ObservancesVisits to statues of Kim Il-sung and his mausoleum, fireworks, performances, sports competitions, folk dances.
Date15 April
Frequencyannual
First timeAfter being designated on 8 July 1997
Related toDay of the Shining Star (16 February), Loyalty Festival (between 16 February and 15 April), Sun Festival (throughout April), April Spring Friendship Art Festival

The Day of the Sun (Korean태양절; MRT'aeyang-jŏl) is an annual public holiday in North Korea on 15 April, the birth anniversary of Kim Il-sung, founder and Eternal President of North Korea.[5] It is the most important national holiday in the country,[6] and is considered to be the North Korean equivalent of Christmas.[7] Kim's birthday, which had been an official holiday since 1968, was renamed Day of the Sun in 1997, three years after his death. The name takes its significance from his name; Il-sung is Korean for "become the Sun".

North Koreans commemorate the holiday by visiting locations that have a connection with the leader's life, such as thousands of statues scattered across the country, or Mangyongdae, his birthplace in the capital Pyongyang. The most important observances take place in the capital, including visits to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, where Kim Il-sung's body lies in rest, and the Mansudae Grand Monument, which features a very tall statue of the leader.

The state seeks to provide its citizens with more food and electricity than is normally available, but success is not always guaranteed.[2] Children, in particular, receive candy and other gifts attributed to love shown by the leaders.[8]

Festivities are not confined to the date. Commemorations occur from 16 February, which is the birthday of Kim Jong-il, during what is known as the Loyalty Festival. Celebrations in April around the Day of the Sun are called the Sun Festival. The day itself is followed by two days of rest, making it a three-day holiday.

Background

Birthplace of Kim Il-sung in Mangyongdae

Kim Il-sung was born on 15 April 1912 in the village of Mangyongdae, which is now a suburb of North Korea's capital Pyongyang.[9] He has been long identified with the Sun[7] and is frequently called "Sun of the nation".[10] He adopted his name Il-sung (Korean일성; Hanja日成), meaning "become the Sun"[11] before the early 1930s as one of his noms de guerre.[12]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Günəş günü
català: Dia del Sol
Deutsch: Tag der Sonne
français: Jour du Soleil
한국어: 태양절
հայերեն: Արևի օր
italiano: Giorno del Sole
日本語: 太陽節
нохчийн: Мелхан де
português: Dia do Sol
русский: День Солнца
українська: День Сонця