Public holidays in Korea

Other than some of Korea’s well-known public holidays, let us tell you a bit more about the lesser-known public holidays in Korea.

New Year's Day (January 1)

Similar to other countries, the first day of the New Year is celebrated with lots of vigour. Being one of the few countries that get see the sunrise before the rest of the world, Koreans often flock to beaches on the east coast of the country to watch the first sunrise of the year for good luck.

Children's Day (May 5)

This day celebrates children and the hopes for children to be nurtured with love and care. On this day, special events dedicated to children and family take place at city parks, amusement parks, zoos, movie theaters, and many other places.

Buddha's Birthday (May 19)

Falling on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month, rituals are held at many Buddhist temples across the country. The temples are decked up beautifully and lanterns are hung along the streets leading to the temples.

Memorial Day (June 6)

Memorial Day serves to honor the soldiers and civilians who have given their lives for their country. While memorial services are held nationwide, the largest ceremony takes place at the National Cemetery in Seoul.

Liberation Day (August 15)

This day commemorates Japan's acceptance of the Allies' terms of surrender in 1945 and the following liberation of Korea.


National Foundation Day (October 3)

This day commemorates the founding of the Korean nation by the legendary god-king Dangun. A simple ceremony is held at several regions throughout Korea.

Hangeul Day (October 9)

Hangeul Day is a commemoration held to remember the creation of Hangeul, the country's native alphabet as proclaimed by the publication of 훈민정음on this day in 1446.

Christmas (December 25)

Christmas is observed as a national holiday in Korea as in many other countries. To celebrate the festive season, entire streets are decorated and lit up, often with a giant Christmas tree at various popular destinations in the city.

Written by Manisha Naskar

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