[Hallyupedia] Hyunchoong-il

연합뉴스 / 2022-06-05 18:49:11
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by Hwakjin Ra/ Haemin Kim

[ENG] Memorial Day of South Korea. The sixth day of June. 


▲ This photo, shows a citizen who visited the Seoul National Cemetery in Dongjak-gu, Seoul on the morning of the 5th, one day before Memorial Day, is cleaning the grave of his uncle's comrades. (Yonhap)


▲ This photo, shows executives and employees of Hanhwa Communications replacing the Taegeukgi at the Daejeon National Cemetery.(Yonhhap)



Hyunchoong-ill, the Memorial Day of South Korea is celebrated on the sixth of June. It is a Memorial Day set to commemorate the loyalty and comfort of the souls of patriotic veterans and soldiers of the Armed Forces who sacrificed their lives for the country.

It was first enacted by Presidential Decree on April 19, 1956, three years after the armistice of the Korean War was established in 1953. At the time of its establishment, the official name was hyeonchoongginyeom-il, but was officially renamed to hyunchoong-il in 1975. It later became a legal holiday in 1982.

According to the Encyclopedia of Korean Folklore from National Folk Museum of Korea, it is said that from ancient times, the custom of holding a ceremony on June 6th as Mangjong, one of the 24 solar terms, has been passed down. There is also a record that on June 6, the 5th year of King Hyeonjong of the Goryeo Dynasty, the royal court sent the bones of a soldier to the houses for them to hold an ancestral rite.

For this reason, it is explained that the government designated June 6th as the day of remembrance during the establishment of Memorial Day in 1956.

Of course, there is also an opinion saying that because June is the month of the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, the government, which began to regain stability after the establishment of the armistice in 1953, decided to set June 6th to commemorate those who died during the Korean War. It is said that the government designated June as Patriots and Veterans Month by linking Memorial Day and the Korean War on June 25 to raise people's awareness on their security.

While the Memorial Day was made to commemorate the war veterans (soldiers who died in war) and martyrs (great men who died for their country), it was limited to the Korean war but was later expanded to all the patriotic martyrs for the country in 1956 after the military cemetery became a National Cemetery.

◇ Courtesy of Memorial Day

At 10 a.m. on Memorial Day, a 1-minute siren is heard nationwide. It is to pray for the well-being of the martyrs and the fallen soldiers by offering a minute of silence along with the siren sound. Also, on this day, in remembrance of the heroes of the country, each family or institution will be raising the flag at half-staff.



▲ This photo, shows former president Moon attending the 66th Memorial Day Ceremony held at the Seoul National Cemetery in Dongjak-gu, Seoul, giving a speech. (Yonhap)

▲ This photo, shows U.S. President Joe Biden visiting Seoul National Cemetery in Seoul Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Yonhap)


▲ This photo, shows volunteers replacing the Taegeukgi at the Daejeon National Cemetery. (Yonhhap)

The commemorative event is typically held at the Seoul National Cemetery under the supervision of the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs. It will be attended by the president, government officials, and the public, and the ceremony will be followed by a silent tribute to the martyrs and heroes of the country, a flower tribute, incense, and a recital. A memorial service will also be held at the Daejeon National Cemetery.

◇ Online memorial service, celebrities take the lead

▲ This photo, provided by JTBC, shows Former singer and broadcaster Lee Hye-young. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Till the 1990s, there was a strong atmosphere to spend the day reverently to the extent that entertainment and show programs on TV were canceled on Memorial Day. Recently, however, around Memorial Day, there are many people posting condolences through social media including celebrities such as singers and actors.

Former singer and broadcaster Lee Hye-young shared the memories of her father who served in the Navy by posting a “certifying shot” of visiting the Seoul National Cemetery on her Instagram on Memorial Day in 2017.


▲ This photo, shows Momoland. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

On the same day, girl group Momoland posted on their official social media along with a Taegeukgi (flag), "Today is the 62nd Memorial Day. It is a day to honor the spirits of the martyrs and the patriotics who sacrificed their lives for our country. We will not forget and live with gratitude.”


▲ This photo, shows Seohyun from Girls Generation. (Yonhap)


A year earlier, in 2016, Girls Generation member Seohyun posted a picture of the Taegeukgi on Instagram with the caption, "I hope you will have a meaningful day in memory of the martyrs and the heroes who sacrificed their lives for our country with a grateful heart."




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