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For the Japanese holiday, see National Foundation Day.
Official name Gaecheonjeol
Also called National Foundation Day
Observed by South Koreans
Type National
Significance Celebrates the founding of the state of Gojoseon
Date 3 October
Next time 3 October 2014 (2014-10-03)
Hangul 개천절
Revised Romanization Gaecheonjeol
McCune–Reischauer Kaech'ǒnjǒl

Gaecheonjeol (Korean: 개천절, hanja:開天節) is a public holiday in South Korea on 3 October. Also known by the English name National Foundation Day, this holiday celebrates the creation of the state of Gojoseon (ancient Korea) founded by Dangun Wanggeom in the year 2333 BC. Gaecheonjeol is also recognized in North Korea, although not as a public holiday, with an annual ceremony at the Mausoleum of Tangun.


Gaecheon (or "Opening of Heaven") refers to 3 October B.C. 2457, the date when Hwanung (환웅) descended from heaven to live with mankind.[1]

The harvest ceremony was celebrated in each Korean kingdoms; Yeonggo (영고) of Buyeo, Mucheon (무천) of Yemaek, Gyeeum (계음) of Mahan and Byeonhan, Dongmaeng (동맹) of Goguryeo, Palgwanheoi (팔관회) of Silla.

In 1909, Gaecheonjeol was enacted as a national holiday.[2] The festival is held annually. At first, Gaecheonjeol had been celebrated on the 3rd day of the 10th month on the lunar calendar but it has been celebrated on 3 October on the solar (Gregorian) calendar since 1949.

See also[edit]