Gwangbokjeol (광복절), Korean Liberation Day

Yesterday our family celebrated Gwangbokjeol, aka Korean Liberation Day, with our local Korean American community. This is the third year we’ve joined in the celebration and this one was the best one yet for our family. Yummy food, a yut tournament, volleyball tournament, and Korean folk music.

Aug. 15 is known as Gwangbokjeol, which is translated “Restoration of Light Day,” and is the day Korea was liberated from Japanese occupation at the end of World War II in 1945. The liberation ended 35 years of Korea being denied all that had made it Korea: its customs, culture, symbols and language.

The day is a national holiday in the Republic of Korea and an official ceremony is held with the president in attendance. Korean citizens and businesses are encouraged to fly the flag in remembrance of the country’s liberation.

According to Wikipedia, there’s a song for the holiday as well.

The official “Gwangbokjeol song”(광복절 노래) is sung at official ceremonies. The song’s lyrics were written by Jeong Inbo (정인보) and the melody by Yoon Yongha (윤용하). The lyrics speak of “to touch the earth again” and how “the sea dances”, how “this day is the remaining trace of 40 years of passionate blood solidified” and to “guard this forever and ever.”

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