July 17 - (제헌절) Korean Constitution Day
"Jehunjul" or Constitution Day in South Korea takes place on July 17 each year. It celebrates the exact day that the Korean Constitution was put in effect since 1948. The date was deliberately chosen to match the founding date of July 17 of the Joseon Dynasty.
The South Korean constitution lays out a basic framework for the Korean government and lists the basic freedoms of the people.
The main attraction during Constitution Day does not include any particular festivities, but citizens usually participate in marathons. They run the long distance race on the streets of South Korea as an indication of their solidarity and respect for this National holiday. A memorial service is also performed on July 17th of each year and it serves to profess the protection of the Korean Constitution in light of democracy.
In 2008, however, Constitution Day was officially taken away from the public sector as being a non-working day, following the restructure of laws regarding the public sector with a 40-hour work week. It is still a national holiday for commemoration.
Constitution Day was the day when South Korea and North Korea became divided. It is not a day that many individuals want to remember since they are being separated from their families who live in other parts of Korea.
This particular day is mostly a reminder of the political impact that was created due to South Korean government’s decision to become their own entity.
(Sources: KoreanClass101.com, Korean Language Blog, Ekke@flickr)