Let's start from the very basics of Hangul day!
You might be wondering what is Hangul Day? We want to explain and want you to learn a lot of other facts about the day too.
But isn’t it better to know what Hangul is first?
What is Hangul?
The writing script of the Korean language which has 24 letters, consisting of 14 consonants and 10 vowels is referred to as Hangul.
Han (한글) means “the great” and Geul (글) means the “writing system”. Together it means The Great Writing System.
Image Credit: KeytoKorean
Even though it has been written and pronounced as Hangul, meaning keeping the sound of U, however, if we go by the correct pronunciation it would be Hangeul, you might have come across this word a lot.
The reason lies inside the pronunciation guide of the Korean alphabet.
What is Hangul Day?
So now you know what Hangeul is. Hangul Proclamation day is nothing but a day dedicated to celebrating its commemoration. If you know the history of Koreans and the illiteracy struggles they faced back in the days, you will know the importance of this day.
Do you know who created Hangul? It was the caring King Sejong, who wanted a script that would be easy for his people to learn, communicate and educate.
It’s because earlier, there was no Korean language in writing to be precise.
And today, there are around 71 million people who speak Korean as their native language. It doesn’t end here as more and more people are learning Korean each day.
Not to mention but Korean has become one of the most demanded languages in the linguistics world today.
Learning Korean is fun today because of these resources.
Relation of Hangul with the Chinese characters
People used to speak Korean, but for writing, they used Hanja (한자), a Chinese writing system.
A glimpse of this still could be seen in the Korean language. You are bound to come across this if you are a Korean learner.
How did people react to the great King Sejong’s decision?
The King collected all the scholars of the country and created the script together in 1446.
You will be shocked to know that the script was earlier looked down upon as it was easier comparatively. People only wanted the children and women to learn it as it was considered inferior to learn.
Not only that but the rich, who were the only privileged ones to learn Hanja and be educated earlier, were now scared of the newly designed script. Because they thought everybody would get to be literate now and their powers would be gone soon.
However, fortunately, everybody learned and the country is where it is now. This is why the people are really grateful today to the King who thought education should be the prime factor for the country
When is Hangul Day & Is it a Public holiday?
On October 9 every year this day has been celebrated.
But I see people wondering if Hangul Day was always a public holiday? Well, yes and no.
Today Koreans do get an official holiday for the auspicious day. They remember the King and many even visit his idol situated opposite Gyeongbokgung Palace in Sejeongno, Korea.
The Idol of King Sejong
It has been an official and important day - parents enjoy this day with their children, pay respect to the King, and much more.
However, 1991-2012 was the period during which the country lost this day as a Public holiday, and nobody got off from work and school.
But then, in the year 2012, it was restored as a national holiday, meaning people could enjoy it without being stuck at their workplaces.
Also, earlier there was no fixed date for the day in Korea, it had varied a lot since it came into existence in 1926.
But, since 1945, the exact date was fixed on October 9.
Does North Korea Celebrate Hangul day too?
Yes, it does. But as you know how Chuseok has been celebrated in both the countries but on different days. Just like that, Hangeul day is also celebrated on different days in both countries.
South Korea on October 9 and North Korea on January 15, and they call it Chosŏn'gŭl Day.
While we are on that, do you know what Hangul is known as in North Korea?
There is absolutely no difference in both the writing system however, the names are different.
The writing system, as we all know, is called Hangul or Hangeul in South Korea, while Chosŏn Muntcha in North Korea.
How is Hangul Proclamation day celebrated?
People often visit the King Sejong Memorial Hall which is located behind the statue of King Sejong.
One thing that I absolutely love about Korea and Koreans is the love they have for their country.
They have different kinds of museums for the special things to celebrate about the nation. Like Kimchi Museum, Tteok Museum, Owl Museum, The Korea National Police Heritage Museum, and many more such fascinating museums to see in Korea.
Likewise, there’s National Hangeul Museum that people visit this day.
Image Credit: The Korea Herald
We, Seoulbox, as a Korean company, always try to add a pinch of the Korean language in our boxes. You can find a lot of activities in our magazines as well.
So, what is your mother tongue? & does it have a special day to celebrate? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
Also, what were the new factors about Hangul or Hangul Day that fascinated you in the article?
Author - Akshita.