제헌절: 잊힌 대한민국 국경일, 그리고 재지정된 미래

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July 17th is the Constitution Day of the Republic of Korea, marking its 75th anniversary. However, many people do not know that today is Constitution Day and most of them pass the day without knowing what it commemorates.

To explain briefly, Constitution Day is the day the Constitution of the Republic of Korea was established on July 17th, 1948, and it is one of the five national holidays in Korea. The other four national holidays are Independence Movement Day (March 1st), Constitution Day (July 17th), Liberation Day (August 15th), Foundation Day (October 3rd), and Hangul Day (October 9th). National holidays are significant days in the country and are commemorated with grand events, and most of them are designated as public holidays.

However, Constitution Day is currently excluded from the list of public holidays. The reason for this is that since the implementation of the five-day work week system in 2003, there have been more days off, and many companies have expressed concerns about reduced working hours and decreased productivity. Reflecting these opinions, Constitution Day has been excluded from the list of public holidays since 2008. As it is not a public holiday, people have a different perception of Constitution Day, and they go to work and school as usual.

Moreover, the number of people who commemorate Constitution Day by raising the national flag has also decreased. Many local governments and public offices are conducting campaigns to raise awareness of Constitution Day, but it is difficult to spread awareness as it is not a public holiday.

The discussion on redesignating Constitution Day as a public holiday is still ongoing. A bill amending the law on public holidays was proposed in 2021 but was withdrawn. However, a revised bill was reintroduced last month and is currently under discussion in the Committee on Administration and Safety.

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