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What Is National Anthem Of South Korea: History, Lyrics In Korean And English, Interesting Facts About South Korea. Photo KnowInsiders

What is South Korea’s national anthem?

The national anthem of South Korea is known as “Aegukga,” which means “The Patriotic Song.” The lyrics for the song were written in 1896 by an unknown author. When it was first used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the lyrics were set to the melody “Auld Lang Syne.” It wasn’t until 1935, when South Korea was founded, that original music was created to accompany the lyrics. This music was created by Ahn Eak-tai.

The original lyrics for the national anthem feature four verses, but like many other nations, South Koreans have shortened this and typically just sing the first verse. South Korea’s national anthem has come under fire over the years because many feel as though the lyrics are too focused on racial nationalism. Many people believe that the national anthem proclaims patriotism for the entire Korean race instead of just South Korea, which could put national security at risk due to troubles between North Korea and South Korea.

Do South Korea and North Korea have the same national anthems?

‘Aegukga’ translates as ‘Patriotic Song’ and South Korea’s national anthem shares its title with North Korea’s national song but, although the two share similarities in terms of melody, they are distinct anthems.

Who composed South Korea’s national anthem?

The lyrics date back to the 1890s and were initially set to the tune of ‘Auld Lang Syne‘, however composer Ahn Eak-tai composed a new tune for it in 1936 when it became clear that South Korea would become its own country – a new country deserved a new tune.

For nearly a century, “Aegukga”, the national anthem of the Republic of Korea, has been a part of the people’s lives to cultivate patriotism and loyalty. Aegukga literally means “any song expressing love towards their country” regardless of whether it is official or unofficial. In the beginning, the song was being sung at official government functions and as it became more popular in the later years; people also sang it in schools and at national sporting events such as the Olympic Games and Korean pop idols have even performed it at other formal events.

There have been several discussions about who could have written the lyrics but no one has ever been officially recognized. The first lyrics were known in 1907 and have grown to what the lyrics are today. In the refrain, the National Flower, mugunghwa, is mentioned; “Three thousand ri of splendid rivers and mountains covered with mugunghwa blossoms.” The lyrics, “Three thousand ri”, equals 1,200 kilometers, the length of the Korean Peninsula and “mugunghwa” means “eternal blossom that never fades.” The affection for the national anthem grew stronger after these words were added to the lyrics.

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Lyrics in Korean

Donghae mulgwa Baekdusani mareugo daltorok

Haneunimi bouhasa urinara manse.

Mugunghwa samcheolli hwaryeo gangsan

Daehan saram, daehaneuro giri bojeonhase.

Namsan wie jeo sonamu cheolgabeul dureun deut

Baram seori bulbyeonhameun uri gisang-ilse.

Mugunghwa samcheolli hwaryeo gangsan

Daehan saram, daehaneuro giri bojeonhase.

Ga-eul haneul gonghwalhande nopgo gureum eopsi

Balgeun dareun uri gaseum ilpyeondansimilse.

Mugunghwa samcheolli hwaryeo gangsan

Daehan saram, daehaneuro giri bojeonhase.

I gisanggwa i mameuro chungseong-eul dahayeo

Goerouna jeulgeouna nara saranghase.

Mugunghwa samcheolli hwaryeo gangsan

Daehan saram, daehaneuro giri bojeonhase.

English Version


Three thousand Li of splendid rivers and mountains, filled with Roses of Sharon;

Great Korean people, stay true to the Great Korean way!

As the pine atop Mt. Namsan stands firm, as if wrapped in armour,

unchanged through wind and frost, so shall our resilient spirit.


The Autumn sky is void and vast, high and cloudless;

the bright moon is our heart, undivided and true.


With this spirit and this mind, give all loyalty,

in suffering or in joy, to the love of country.


National Symbols of South Korea

Photo beSoccer
Photo beSoccer

National Flag Taegeukgi: The current design of Taegeukgi was finalized on October 15, 1949. It symbolizes the principles of the yin and yang in oriental philosophy. The circle in the center is divided into two equal parts, where the upper red responds to the positive cosmic forces of the yang; conversely, the lower blue section represents the negative cosmic forces of the yin. The flag's background is white, representing peace and purity valued by the people of Korea. The circle is surrounded by four trigrams, one in each corner, characterizing continual movement, balance and harmony.

Photo Getty
Photo Getty

National Flower Mugunghwa: The national flower of Korea is mugunghwa, or rose of Sharon, which comes into bloom from July to October every year. A profusion of mugunghwa blossoms gracefully decorate the entire nation during blooming season, providing a view that has been loved by Koreans for many years. The flower’s symbolic significance stems from the Korean word mugung, which means immortal.

Do you know?

South Koreans are one year old when born

One of the unique facts about Koreans is that they’re automatically one year old at birth. A newborn baby is considered one year old in South Korea. There are different schools of thought as to why this is. One explanation is that people think it’s because the baby is in the mother’s womb for nine months, which is about one year. Therefore in South Korea, the baby is one year old when born.

The method for calculating this is a little tricky since it can vary with the lunar calendar, solar calendar, and your birthday. The simplest way to answer the age question in South Korea is to tell Koreans the year you were born. If you want to use a simple Korean age calculator, this formula should do the trick:

(Current year – your birth year) + 1 = Your Korean age

For example:

(2017 – 1985) + 1 = 33 years old

(2017 – 1991) + 1 = 27 years old

Largest Drinkers in Asia

It’s said that when South Koreans try something, they go hard at it. Football (soccer), spicy food, and drinking! Many are surprised to see that Koreans are considered one of the top drinkers in Asia by far. South Korea has a strong drinking culture compared to its neighboring countries in Asia. This can be rooted in their tradition and culture, where most holidays are celebrated with alcohol. According to the World Health Organization, Koreans consume an average of 12.3L of alcohol per year and are ranked #17 globally!

Samsung is Everywhere

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Photo The Conversation

Samsung is one of the largest technology countries globally, and it’s based in Seoul — the company is responsible for a fifth of the country’s booming economy, which is no small feat! However, in many countries, Samsung is only known for its cutting-edge cell phone technology. In reality, they’re also responsible for creating modern and reliable armored cars for military use and medical equipment, among other technologies.

Both Men and Women Are Obsessed with Makeup

Photo Pinterest
Photo Pinterest

Makeup is easy to fall in love with — it’s a ton of fun experimenting with different makeup styles and transforming your face for special events. It also lets many people who are insecure about parts of their appearance feel more comfortable in their skin on a day-to-day basis. It’s common knowledge that South Korea is one of the makeup capitals of the world. There are entire districts of Seoul dedicated to cosmetic shops, so it’s truly a makeup lover’s paradise.

Plastic surgery is SUPER normal

Photo Daily Mail
Photo Daily Mail

While plastic surgery is taboo at best and frowned upon at worst in most Western countries, South Korea has fully embraced plastic surgery to the point that it is very accepted (and even encouraged).

It’s not uncommon for South Korean teenagers to get plastic surgery before they enter university. They don’t have to worry about seeking parental approval because their parents often encourage it and pay for it!

The most common seekers of plastic surgery in South Korea are women. The most common target for plastic surgery is their eyes for double eyelid surgery, their nose, and their chin in an attempt to pursue a “Caucasian look” popularized by celebrities. Plastic surgery is also much more affordable in South Korea than in other countries, making it more accessible.

Toilet Paper Warms the House

One of the interesting, fun facts about South Korea is that people often give toilet paper and laundry detergent as housewarming gifts.

While you may need to clear out some space in your house to stockpile all the extra household supplies, the great thing about this tradition is that it makes picking out housewarming presents a piece of cake. The hardest decision you’ll have to make is whether to buy Kleenex brand.

There’s a lot more to kimchi than meets the eye

There are 250 different types of kimchi, which explains how kimchi can be versatile enough to be incorporated into so many different types of South Korean dishes! Kimchi is considered one of the most iconic traditional Korean food items. A side of kimchi is standard no matter where or when you’re eating a meal.

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Kimchi is a fermented dish that can utilize a variety of vegetables and seasonings depending on preference. Kimchi is also excellent for digestive health, so Koreans are way ahead of the game for making it a part of every meal. Make sure to try a side of kimchi with your next meal in South Korea – you won’t be disappointed!

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