Constitution Day

South Korea Observance in South Korea

South Korea
Gyeongbok Palace - Seoul Korea. via Wikimedia Commons

When is it?

Constitution day is always celebrated on 17 July.

Since 2008, Constitution Day has no longer been a 'non-working' public holiday after the change in laws regarding the public sector with a 40-hour work week.

Constitution Day is a holiday that honours the first constitution of South Korea which was declared by the first National Assembly on 17 July 1948.

History of the holiday

Following the end of World War II and liberation from Japanese Rule, Korea was split in two by the occupation of Allied and Soviet forces.

In April 1948 a democratic election for National Assembly members was held in the Allied controlled South Korea. The elected assembly members then created a constitution, based on a presidential and unicameral system.

This constitution was formally adopted by President Syngman Rhee on July 17, 1948

On 15 August 1948 the Republic of Korea was established, with Syngman Rhee as the first president. On 9 September 1948, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) was established under Kim Il-sung.

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