For many March 1st is a day off in Korea but today represents one of the major turning points in Korean history.
Today is a national holiday of Korea. On March 1, 1919, Koreans protested against Japanese colonial regime and declared sovereign independence of the nation and became a national holiday in 1949.
Events for the March 1st Movement in Gwangju
- 윤장현 Yoon Jang Hyun, a mayor of Gwangju & city officers will visit 독립기념탑 Independence Memorial Monument honoring Korean independence fighters. They will also ring the 민주의 종 a Democracy-bell in downtown 33 times to commemorate 삼일절 [Sam il Jeol].
- Runners are running to celebrate the March 1st Movement. Today, 광주 달리기교실 Gwangju Runner’s Class will kick off their first race of this year and they gave 만세삼창 three cheers before the race as the freedom fighters did in 1919.
- However, sadly this year the 만세 Manse ceremony, which has been held for over 20 years, was cancelled. The process for the ceremony was delayed, and some parents of *Speer high school students had complained about the ceremony.
- In 1919, Speer high school students participated in the March first movement. Since then, the school students had re-enacted of the movement every year. From 1998, some Gwangju communities had supported the ceremony.
Gwangju city will support the ceremony from next year to keep the tradition.
- Instead of the 만세 Manse ceremony, tonight, Gwangju citizens will hold candles to commemorate 98th March 1st movement, and demand solution about 위안부 Comfort women issues.
- Koreans still demand a sincere apology from Japan to the women who were victims of sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II.
- In the morning, 순천 Suncheon city will have an event. Over 400 people will gather to see Dance & 만세 Manse performances in the event.
- 순천 Soon Cheon city established the March 1st Memorial Monument- 낙안 [Nak An] 3.1 movement monument- in 1998.
- In 나주 Na Ju, there is a photo-exhibition at 나주학생독립운동기념관 Na Ju students’ independence Movements Memorial Hall till the end of this month.
평화의 소녀상 Monument to comfort women is established in Seoul Square.
Tonight, there will be a big candle-protest in Seoul.
Take care and stay warm,