Published: 2021-11-05 at 19:40

In South Korea, as well as in King Sejong Institute in Zagreb, the 9th of October is celebrated as the Korean Alphabet Day, better known as Hangul (한글) Day or Hangul Proclamation Day.

The same holiday is celebrated in North Korea, but on 15th of January, under the name Chosongul Day. Both holidays mark the creation and proclamation of Hangul as the Korean alphabet. They have been celebrated since 1926 (with many changes to the date of the holiday), while the 9th of October has been the official holiday date since 1945 in South Korea.

King Sejong statue in Seoul

The alphabet was made by King Sejong (whom the institute is named by) in 1443 and was released in 1446 under the name Hunminjeongum (훈민정음). What makes Hangul different from other alphabets is that its origin is well known, and what makes it completely unique is that Hangul letters were made with phonological features – consonantsreflect the shape of the speech organs used to pronounce them, while the shape of vowels is based on three elements – sun (dot), man (vertical line), and Earth (horizontal line). The form of Hangul has changed over the years, some letters are not in use in today’s Hangul and the way of writing certain letters has been changed.

The King Sejong Institute in Zagreb marked Hangul Day by organizing a Hangul writing competition for Korean language course participants at its premises on the Borongai Campus in Zagreb.

The course participants were divided into three groups (due to epidemiological measures) in which they competed in three different terms in transcribing part of Sejong's proclamation of Hunmingjongum (Hangul). The task was to rewrite the given text (photo attachment below) with the most beautiful handwriting following the rules of writing Hangul.

The English translation of the text is as follows: “Our language is different from Chinese, and the two countries’ characters do not match. For this reason, my foolish people want to write something, but they could not easily write it with Chinese character. I have pitied my people, and I made 28 characters. I wish all my people would easily learn these new letters and make their lives more convenient.”

Part of the declaration made by King Sejong which was transcribed by the participants
The competition taking place at School of Croatian Studies in Borongaj campus

By the end of the competition all participants were given a participation gift related to Korean culture and history, while the winners received a special gift prepared by the Korean Embassy of Croatia – a folding fan with traditional Korean art motif.

Participation gift
Winning works from each group

The Institute treated the participants with one of the most famous Korean cuisine dishes – Bibimbap (비빔밥), after the competition.

Bibimbap is a rice dish with seasoned and cooked vegetables, chili paste sauce, and often addition of egg and meat (mostly beef). Considering the spiciness of the meal, water was ready to be provided.

After the meal, and a short hangout, the participants had the opportunity to try on traditional Korean clothing – hanbok (한복) and take pictures in it.

Hanbok and Bibimbap

More photographs from the celebration of Hangul Day at the King Sejong Institute in Zagreb can be found on their official Instagram profile @sejongzagreb, as well as other news and activities. For more information contact @sejongzagreb on Instagram or send an email to

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Hrvatski studiji Sveučilišta u Zagrebu pokrenuti su i ustrojeni 16. studenoga 1992., isprva samo kao dvosemestralni Sveučilišni komparativni studij hrvatske filozofije i društva. Taj je program potom preoblikovan u program redovitog četverogodišnjeg studija.

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