South Korea’s Memorial Day – All interesting history and facts

Memorial Day in South Korea and South Korea's flag.

Did you know that South Korea also has a Memorial Day?

Many countries like South Korea, the United States, and Canada have a Memorial Day to remember important historical events. Korea also has Memorial Day as a national holiday.

In this article, I’ll tell you all the interesting information about Memorial Day in Korea.

What is Memorial Day in South Korea?

Memorial Day in South Korea is a national holiday to remember the Korean soldiers and civilians who died for their country. It started after the Korean War, which began in 1950 and lasted three years. During the war, South Korea lost around 240,000 people, and the country was heavily damaged.

After the war, the South Korean government created Memorial Day to honor those who died.

On Memorial Day, Koreans remember and think about the people who died in the war. They visit the graves of their loved ones and take part in ceremonies and events to honor them. Memorial Day is also a time to celebrate the peace and freedom South Korea has enjoyed since the war and to recommit to the values of democracy and human rights.

When is Memorial Day in South Korea?

Memorial Day in South Korea is a public holiday on June 6 every year. One reason June 6 was chosen is because many soldiers died during the Korean War, which started on June 25, 1950. So, they decided to make June 6 Memorial Day.

When did Memorial Day start in Korea?

Memorial Day was first established in Korea on April 19, 1956.

How to say Memorial Day(현충일) in Korean?

Memorial Day is called 현충일(hyeonchung-il) in Korean.

If you’re interested in learning Korean, please check out the following links.

How do people celebrate Memorial Day in Korea?

So, How do people celebrate Memorial Day?

Memorial Day Official Ceremony

Every year on June 6th, there are official events all over the country, but the biggest one is at the Seoul National Cemetery.

The President, members of Congress, and citizens attend this ceremony to honor the sacrifice of the fallen heroes with a moment of silence.

At 10:00 AM, the whole country observes a one-minute moment of silence.

The map above shows the location of the Seoul National Cemetery. If you happen to be in Seoul on Memorial Day, it might be a good idea to visit.

Raising the National Flag

Homes and public offices raise the national flag on Memorial Day to show respect.

There are also various memorial events held across the country.

Moment of Silence

On Memorial Day, exactly at 10:00 AM, a siren goes off all over the country for one minute to honor those who gave their lives for Korea’s peace. It’s like a reminder to stop everything and take a moment to think about them.

Radio and television stations broadcast announcements reminding everyone about the moment of silence, and vehicles pull over to the side of the roads to participate.

Other events

I remember when I was a kid, we used to have an event at school where we wrote letters to soldiers currently serving in the military to commemorate Memorial Day.

We would send these letters to the military bases.

However, I heard that the event has been changed to leave messages online or hold drawing contests instead of writing letters.

History of The Korean War

On June 25, 1950, North Korea suddenly attacked South Korea. They quickly took over Seoul and kept moving south.

The United Nations (UN) sent troops to help South Korea. Soldiers from 16 countries, including the United States, fought in the war.

The war lasted for 3 years. Finally, on July 27, 1953, South Korea and North Korea signed a peace agreement to stop fighting.

Nations that fought alongside Korea

During the Korean War, 16 countries came to South Korea’s aid.

These were: the United States, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Thailand, South Africa, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Australia, Colombia, Turkey, and Greece.

As a Korean, I am always grateful to all the countries that have helped Korea


In this post, I’ve shared some information about Memorial Day in Korea.

In short, Memorial Day is a public holiday in Korea on June 6th every year to honor all those who sacrificed their lives for the country during the Korean War.

If you are planning to visit Korea on Memorial Day or are already traveling there, here is some additional information for you.

Government offices and banks will be closed on Memorial Day.

However, restaurants, department stores, and other businesses will be open.

If you have any questions or something you’d like to share, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Leave a Comment