Samil-jol (Independence Movement Day)

March 1
The Korean national holiday Samil-jol celebrates the anniversary of the independence demonstrations in 1919 protesting the Japanese occupation. ( Samil means 'three-one,' signifying third month, first day.) Japan had taken over Korea in 1910, depriving Koreans of many of their freedoms. The March 1 movement was a turning point; an estimated two million people took to the streets in peaceful demonstrations, and a declaration of independence was read at a rally in Seoul. The demonstrations were met with thousands of arrests, and close to 23,000 Koreans were killed or wounded. Independence leaders formed a provisional government abroad, and there were major anti-Japanese rallies in the 1920s, but independence didn't come until 1945 with Japan's surrender and the end of World War II. The day is marked with the reading of the 1919 Declaration of Independence at Pagoda Park in Seoul.
See also Korea Liberation Day
Embassy of the Republic of Korea
2320 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-939-5663; fax: 202-342-1597
AnnivHol-2000, p. 36
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.