A pack of domestically produced snacks handed out to children in 2012 to mark Kim Jong-Il’s birthday. On the pack is written, “We have nothing to envy”. However, the snacks were said to be rather tasteless and many tried to instead sell the snacks at the market. (ASIAPRESS)

◆ No rations given to mark either the Sept. 9 National Foundation Day or Oct. 10 Party Foundation Day

The 4 major holidays celebrated in North Korea are Kim Jong-il’s birthday on Feb. 16, Kim Il-sung’s birthday on April 15, the National Foundation Day on Sept. 9, and the Party Foundation Day on Oct. 10. Additional holidays include: Lunar New Year, Chuseok, and Liberation Day, celebrated on Aug. 15.

Traditionally, citizens would receive ‘special holiday distributions’ to mark the birthdays of the nation’s leaders or on other such holidays. Up until the early 90’s, citizens would receive alcohol, cooking oil, and meat, with students receiving sweets, school uniforms, and classroom supplies. In the 2000’s, however, following the period of famine known as the “Arduous March”, these special holiday rations became poorer in quantity and quality. With the state struggling financially, all that the citizens could hope to receive in their distributions were a few snacks, a bottle of cooking oil, or a set of toothpaste.
Next page :What about the holidays in September and October this year?