National Holidays In South Korea – By Date
New Year’s Day (January 1st)
Referred to as Solar New Years by most Korean citizens.
Lunar New Year (First day of the first month by the Lunar Calendar)
One of the most celebrated holidays in Korea (and east Asia). Visiting family, worshipping ancestors, eating traditional Korean dishes and taking part in century old traditions all come to life during this color national holiday.
Korean Independence Day (March 1st)
Koreans observe the anniversary of the March 1, 1919 Independence Movement against Japanese rule.
Arbor Day (April 5th)
On this day, government officials, teachers, school children and thousands of Koreans throughout the country plant trees in accordance with the government’s reforestation program. Note: Not all Korean schools view Arbor Day as a true national holiday.
Children’s Day (May 5th)
This is the day that Korean parents spoil their children with gifts, treats, games and trips to theme parks, zoo’s and other prominent area’s that are of interest to younger children.
Buddha’s Birthday (Eighth day of the fourth month by the Lunar Calendar)
Solemn rituals are held at Buddhist temples, and the day’s festivities are climaxed by a number of famous lantern parades across the country.
Memorial Day (June 6th)
On this day the nation pays tribute to its war dead. Memorial services are held at the National Cemetery in Seoul.
Constitution Day (July 17th)
This day commemorates the adoption of the Republic of Korea Constitution in 1948. Note: As of 2008 Constitution Day is no longer a Korean national holiday. Korea will continue to celebrate this day but government offices, schools and private businesses will remain open.
Liberation Day (August 15th)
In 1945, Korea was liberated from Japan after 35 years of colonial rule. The day also marks the 1948 establishment of the government of the Republic of Korea.
Chuseok – a.k.a Korean Thanks Giving (14th – 16th of the eighth month by the Lunar Calendar)
The most important national holiday of the year. During these 3 days Korean’s gather with family members to honor their deceased ancestors, clean off their ancestors tombs, give food and drink offerings, and pray.
National Foundation Day (October 3rd)
This day marks the founding of Korea by Tan-gun (God-King) in 2333 B.C. Korean’s celebrate over 4000 years of history during this holiday.
Christmas Day (December 25th)
Christians and other citizens celebrate this holy day as in the West.