Birthday of Kim Jong-Il

Kim Jong-Il, Birthday of

February 16-17
The birth date of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il (February 16, 1941) is marked with a two-day public holiday observed throughout the country. Large-scale public celebrations—including mass gymnastics displays, musical performances, fireworks, and military demonstrations—are centered in the capital city of Pyongyang. Smaller-scale displays take place in towns and villages throughout North Korea (official name: Democratic People's Republic of Korea). Special horticultural exhibitions feature the Kimjongilia, a flower cultivated to bloom around Kim's birthday. In a country with food and energy shortages, the government also often marks Kim's birthday by allotting North Koreans extra food or electricity.
The Kims have ruled the country since 1945, when Kim Jong-Il's father, Kim Il-Sung, took control of the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. His son was designated his successor in 1980. When the father, Kim Il Sung, died 1994, the son, Kim Jong-Il, became the country's leader. His official title is chairman of the national defense commission, but he is proclaimed in his country as the "sun of the 21st century." Both he and his father are publicly adulated under the "cult of personality" that was part of Kim Il-Sung's distinctive political philosophy. Today, North Korea is a Communist country with a repressive government.
Permanent Representative of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to the United Nations
820 Second Ave.
New York, NY 10017
212-972-3105; fax: 212-972-3154
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
They say the regime is deliberately keeping its food stores closed this year so it can dole out food rations next year, which marks the 100th anniversary of nation founder Kim Il-sung and the 70th birthday of Kim Jong-il.
e ran for constituency number 216 to mark the February 16 birthday of Kim Jong-Il, it said.
North Korea has been celebrating the 67th birthday of Kim Jong-il, the country's leader, with state media lauding him as a "heaven-made commander" and citizens turning out to dance in the streets of the freezing capital.