Tuesday 16 February 2021

cult of personality

Along with the birthday of his father, founder of the nation of North Korea, this Day of the Shining Star (๊ด‘๋ช…์„ฑ) falling on the anniversary of the birth of its second leader Kim Jong-il, 16 February, 31 Juche, according to party lore, is among the most important public holidays, codified since his 2012 death. While Kim was likely born in Siberia during his father’s exile for inciting an uprising, the foundational mythos places Kim’s birth at a secret guerrilla camp (run by Kim Il-sung) on the slopes of Mount Paektu, a place in antiquity considered holy and the origin of the Korea people, his nativity heralded by a shooting star. With celebrations spanning two days including mass gymnastics, fireworks and military demonstrations, many couples also choose this day to marry. Like a Communist version of Lent, the two-month gap between the birthday of the founder (see above) and second leader is known as Loyalty Festival Period and is interspersed with spontaneous acts of devotion and festivities throughout.