2014 Calendar Reveals Few Surprises

The official 2014 calendar.

There will be a new public holiday in North
Korea during 2014, Daily NK has confirmed after obtaining a copy of the coming
year’s official calendar.

Key dates for the ideological diary in 2014 include many standard waypoints for the year: Kim Jong Il’s birth date,
February 16th, and Kim Il Sung’s birth date, April 15th, in addition to the recently minted Day of Songun on August 25th. There is now also the day upon which
Kim Jong Il was made a military “Generalissimo,” February 14th, which is described in the
calendar as the day when “Great leader comrade Kim Jong Il received the title ‘Generalissimo
of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.’”

It is unclear whether the designation of
February 14th is intended to temporarily augment February 16th and April 15th, since
both fall on Sunday in 2014, or is a conscious attempt to further elevate the
status of Kim Jong Il in the dynastic myth of the Kim family. In this context it is
worth noting that only one of North Korea’s public holidays is explicitly
intended to idolize Kim Il Sung, and that is the date of his birth in April.
Conversely, there are three days performing the same role in the case of Kim
Jong Il: his birth date in February, the day he became a Generalissimo, and Day of Songun.

The status of January 8th, Kim Jong Eun’s
birthday, is always a major source of interest at this time of year. However, as in
previous years and irrespective of some intense ideological conditioning
activities that have been occurring in the wake of the purge and execution of
Jang Sung Taek early in December, the date remains an ordinary working day in 2014. This is
likely to remain the case until at least the culmination of the traditional three years of
mourning for Kim Jong Il, who died at the end of 2011. 

Other public holidays for 2014 include
those that propagandize the legitimacy of the North Korean political system:
the day the Chosun Workers’ Party was founded, October 10th, the founding date
of the state, September 9th, and Constitution Day on December 27th. In
addition, there is the date of the founding of the Chosun Children’s Union on
June 6th, reflecting the way the Kim regime seeks to portray itself as both defender and provider for the extended North Korean “family state.”

All other holidays are unrelated
to the Kim regime: for instance, Solar New Year’s Day on January 1st and Lunar New Year’s Day on January 31st, as well as the traditional harvest festival, Chuseok, which falls on
September 8th next year.

▲ 2014 public and traditional holidays in North

January: Solar New Year’s Day (1.1) Lunar New Year’s Day (1.31)

February: “Generalissimo Day” (2.14), Birth date of Kim Jong Il (“Gwangmyungsung Day”/Day of the Shining Star) (2.16)

March: International Women’s Day (3.8)

April: Chungmyung Day (4.5), Birth date of Kim Il Sung (“Taeyang Day”/Day of the Sun) (4.15), Chosun People’s Army Foundation Day (4.25)

May: Labor Day (5.1)

June: Chosun Children’s Union Foundation Day (6.6) 

August: Liberation Day (8.15), Day of Songun (8.25)

September: Chuseok (9.8), National Day (9.9)

October: Party Foundation Day (10.10)

December: Constitution Day (12.27)