North Korea, ruled over by Kim Jong Un, is habitual of staying in the headlines for bizarre reasons. This time, the country is heading back to the year 112, and no this isn’t about time-traveling. North Korea has abandoned the western calendar, and will solely follow its own Juche calendar, and will celebrate the arrival of the year 112 soon.
A lot of people know that Ethiopia is a country that follows a different calendar, and is still living in 2014 despite the world about to reach the midline in 2022. However, North Korea has surprised everyone with its move.
Starting this week, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the primary state news agency, will date stories as “Juche 111” instead of 2022. This step is taken to favor its own method based on the birthday of its founding leader, Kim Jong-Il.
What is the Juche Calendar that North Korea Follows?
The Juche Calendar that North Korea follows is the system of year-numbering used in the country which begins with the birth of Kim Il-sung, who was the founder of DPRK. He was born on April 15, 1912, and the North Korean Juche calendar started on the same date.
Thus, 1912 became “Juche 1” in the Juche calendar. North Korea also celebrates its Juche New Year on April 15 (according to the western calendar) every year, and it is also known as the “Day of the Sun.”
The Juche calendar was adopted in North Korea in 1997, which is three years after the death of Kim Il-sung. Currently, year 111 is going on and the country will transition into year 112 this Friday.
How many New Year Celebrations Does North Korea have?
North Korea currently has three New Year Celebrations, and the country celebrates all of them. The Juche new year which falls on April 15 every year is celebrated in the grandest fashion. Apart from it, North Korea also has Gregorian (Western) New Year and Lunar New Year.
The new year celebrations in the country are pivoted around showing respect towards elders and expressing gratitude. The whole family must reunite and celebrate the beginning of the new year together regardless of this area of residence. They also have songpyeon together, which is a traditional dish of the country.
The North Korean crowd including tourists gather around the Kumsunan Palance of the Sun (it is believed the “Day of the Sun” comes from here. Here, they pay respect to their late leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-Il.
In the afternoon, the locals gather in the city center of Pyongyang wearing traditional costumes to perform a traditional dance.
Why did North Korea abandon the Western Calendar?
North Korea has abandoned the western calendar, also known as the Gregorian calendar, as it wishes to favor its own method of tracking years. However, the country will still use the same formula that the Gregorian calendar uses to track the days and times.
The country will still rely on the solar phenomenon to note down days and time while years will be noted according to the Juche calendar. The country is currently preparing to celebrate the Juche New Year this Friday.
North Korea is widely known to cut its people from the western world just like China. It imposes strict rules and regulations to keep the people away from the western culture and stay aligned with the traditional one.