There are only two major festivals in North Korea, both of which visitors are allowed to attend – the Spring Dragon Boat Festival and the Mass Games May through October. Other celebrations and North Korea holidays are held to mark the birthdays of the Great Leader Kim il Sung and the Dear Leader Kim Jung-il.

Kim Il Sung Birthday Celebration

The celebration of the life of North Korea’s founding father, Kim il Sung, is held every year on April 15. The capital, Pyongyang, sees military parades and parties, while smaller events take place across the country.

May Day

International Workers’ Day is celebrated in North Korea, as it is elsewhere in world, on May 1, with Pyongyang seeing a huge folk festival in Toesongsan Park along with sporting events and parades.

Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon boat races are as popular in North Korea as they are in China, with the annual Dragon Boat Festival taking place at the beginning of spring in early June. A visit to the major event in Pyongyang is an approved tour activity.

Victory Day

This important festival on July 27 marks the day on which the Korean War armistice was signed, and involves mass dancing and military parades.

Liberation Day

Liberation Day is a national holiday in North Korea, held on August 15 as part of the huge Mass Games festival in Pyongyang’s main stadium.

Workers’ Party of Korea Foundation Day

This event celebrates the founding of North Korea’s Workers’ Party, a cornerstone of the country’s ruling elite. Held on October 10, it is a chance to see one of the country’s Mass Dances as well as the last days of the famed Ariring Mass Games in Pyongyang.