National Day (Zhenia)

From Themys Project
National Day
Displays of fireworks, among other major events, take place throughout major cities in Zhenia on National Day.
Official nameNational Day
(Zhenian: 건국절)
Also calledImperial Day (Zhenian: 제국절), Unification of the Five Jins Day (Zhenian: 오진통일절)
Observed byZhenia
SignificanceThe day in 1438 AC when the Empire of Zhenia declares full unification over modern-day Zhenia, as well as the establishment of the modern Zhenian state.
CelebrationsMilitary parades, governmental ceremonies, fireworks, concerts, late night shows, festivals
DateJune 4
Next timeJune 4, 2024 (2024-06-04)
FrequencyAnnual

National Day (Zhenian: 건국절) in Zhenia, also referred to as Imperial Day (Zhenian: 제국절) or Unification of the Five Jins Day (Zhenian: 오진통일절), is a national holiday in Zhenia commemorating the establishment of the Empire of Zhenia as well as the unification of Zhenia and the formation of the modern Zhenian state, on June 4, 1438 AC. Emperor Seongjo's imperial coronation as well as the declaration of the Empire of Zhenia took place, while the full unification of Zhenia under the new empire was also announced the same day.

In addition to major national and civil events commemorating the establishment of the modern Zhenian state, celebrations for National Day include military parades in major cities, smaller civil parades all across the nation, concerts, late night shows, festivals and firework displays across the nation. Although there have been movements to instead designate Republic Day as its national day, National Day remains as the national day of Zhenia.

Background

On June 4, 1438 AC, Emperor Seongjo announced the formation of the Empire of Zhenia during his coronation as the new empire's ruler in Daedo's newly-built Daeseong Palace. Although the internal works to reorganize the Confederation of Zhenia into a single unified state had been underway since the Treaty of Zhuhae, it was formalized with Seongjo's coronation as the Emperor of Zhenia. The event itself was met with great fanfare from the public as well as attention both domestic and international, as the former assets of the Confederation were reorganized into those under the name of the new empire. The anticipation for the day to become a milestone in Zhenian history has been clearly expressed in Emperor Seongjo's announcement made at Daeseong Palace the same day:

(Omission)... Today, we all stand upon a day that will be forever marked in history by our descendants; from this point and beyond, they will divide Zhenian history as before today and after today. Today shall be the greatest day in the history of the Empire as the day the Five Jins became united once again under one flag - a day that shall be commemorated and protected upon the solemn hands of Shinmir himself. The Zhenian people shall remember today as the first chapters of modernity, the day the Phoenix of Zhenia spreads its wings upon its realm. Long live the Empire of Zhenia! Long live the Five Jins, forever united as one under the mighty flag of Zhenia! Long live the spirit of Zhenia!

The day was made a national holiday in 1439, initially being designated as "Unification Day" to commemorate the unification of Zhenia rather than the establishment of the empire: at the time, the origins of the empire was traced back to the establishment day of Shindan, on October 30. It was later also designated "Imperial Day" in 1445, under the rule of Emperor Saejo, with the belief that aligning the origins of the Empire of Zhenia with the day of Zhenian unification rather than the day of Shindanese establishment would help consolidate Zhenian identity throughout the mainland.

Observance

  • On June 4, 1439, the first celebrations of the empire's establishment, as well as the unification of modern Zhenia, was commemorated with government-wide celebrations, with 21-gun salutes, military parades and speeches from the Emperor himself. It was designated as the first national holiday of the empire the same day, at the time referred to as "Unification Day". It became a paid holiday for many government employees.
  • In 1445, National Day also received the designation "Imperial Day", which was relocated from October 30, the day of Shindan's establishment. The 1445 AC celebration marks the first National Day in which the establishment of the empire and the unification of Zhenia was established on the same day, as it is today.
  • In 1500, on the first National Day since the replacement of the Empire by the Republic, the day was formally renamed as "Five Jin Unification Day", one of the names it still bears to this day. It was starting from the celebrations in 1500 that the name "Imperial Day" ceased to be used at the formal level, although reactionary movements and many imperial loyalists remained to refer to it as Imperial Day well into the first half of the 16th century AC.
  • On 1569, prior to the November Revolution, the end of the commemorative addresses by Kim Shimin was met with anti-governmental rallies in not only Daedo but across the nation, calling for the establishment of democracy and the resignation of Kim Shimin from power. Local military forces responded with force, resulting in 23 deaths and over 200 wounded protesters, while the subsequent military parade through Sudo district was cancelled altogether. 1569 celebration remains the only National Day after the end of the Second Great War without a military parade.
  • On 1598, the International Tower of Daedo International Financial Center, the tallest structure in Zhenia to this day, opened with special displays commemorating the 160th anniversary of Zhenian unification as well as the establishment of modern Zhenia. Although officials have claimed the opening date of the building was a mere coincidence with National Day, many claim that the decision to open the building on National Day was completely intentional and had been planned for several months in advance.

Disputes

The status of National Day as the day of establishment for modern Zhenia has come under great dispute in the later half of the 16th century, especially after the November Revolution. Many civic organizations and political movements, including the Liberal Democratic Party-led Zhenian Front for Democracy, have claimed the day to be "anachronistic and not compatible with the democratic nature of modern Zhenia" and have instead contended Republic Day as an alternative establishment date for modern Zhenia. While such proposals have been met with significant opposition from several political parties and movements, including the Union of Neo-Renism, with high levels of criticism regarding the deterioration of the significance of Imperial Zhenia, the movement has gained significant ground in the 1600s.

Activities

Public events

Public, government-level events on National Day mostly occur within Daedo, although government-hosted events of smaller scales are also observed in other cities across the nation. Governmental events in Daedo normally start with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the entrances of invited guests and descendants of the imperial throne, opening performances by military bands and commemorative addresses by both the Chancellor and Premier. The event is followed by the awarding of the annual Medal of Unification, a medal of honor given to those who had contributed to Zhenian unification and the promotion of modern Zhenia, which is then followed by the chanting of the national anthem and a military parade through Kim Shimin Boulevard across Sudo district in Daedo. The military parade on National Day, including the showcase of several Zhenian military units and flypasts by RZAF aircraft, is widely regarded as one of the largest military parades in the nation and has often been used to showcase new weaponry of the Republic of Zhenia Defense Forces, alongside a similar parade held on Republic Day. The Plaza of Zhenian Unification, right in front of the Arch of Zhenian Unification, is the most common venue for such set of events within Daedo; in events of rain, events are held on the plaza with a rain cover or are altogether moved to the Daedo National Gymnasium around 5.6 kilometers southwest of the plaza. Many other major cities in Zhenia see a similar order of events, although military parades are only done in select cities and in select locations.

While many of the above events take place early on in the day, with the military parade through Daedo's Sudo district concluding by noon, a set of events, including fireworks displays and live concerts, are set up later in the day. Many artists fill major concerting venues across the nation and hold concerts, in an event collectively known as the 'National Day Special' by the public: National Day Specials are widely regarded as one of the most important concert days of the year for many artists, given the media and live coverage at the venue and time. Most Zhenian cities on National Day have fireworks displays at around 8 PM, featuring several local and foreign fireworks teams invited and organized by the government. Also alongside Republic Day, fireworks displays on National Day are regarded as the best-known fireworks displays in the nation and is on par with major fireworks festivals across the nation.

Celebrations and customs

Sports

National Day is a day of major sporting events, being situated in the middle of or towards the end of major professional sports seasons.

Notable celebrations in Zhenia

The public events in Daedo, directly observed and administered by the national government, is among the most notable celebrations for National Day. Its best-known celebrations include a military parade through Daedo's Sudo district, an event often involving over 10,000 soldiers and more than 400 vehicles. The military parade on National Day, dubbed the 'March of Unification', is well among the largest and internationally known military parades in the nation.

In other nations

National Day is celebrated as a major holiday by several overseas Zhenian communities around the world. Most celebrations of National Day by Zhenian diasporas are done in Little Zhenias and areas with high Zhenian populations, although there are nowhere near the scale of those within Zhenia. A majority of National Day celebrations and commemorations are done by the second and third waves of Zhenian immigration across the world, particularly those who emigrated after Zhenian unification. While some celebrations have been brought into conflict by overseas Yinguonese communities that do not recognize the day as a holiday, recent celebrations have attempted to include those of other nationalities and cultural identities, including the Yinguonese, into the Zhenian celebration.

See also