National Liberation Day, also called Gwangbokjeol (“the day the light returned”), marks South Korea’s independence following the end of WWII. Today, South Koreans embrace their hard-earned nationhood with patriotic fanfare, participating in parades and community festivals. In South Korea’s capital of Seoul, dignitaries and prominent political figures gather at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts Center for the annual ringing of the bell at 12 PM on the dot to commemorate former leaders.
Today’s Doodle welcomes National Liberation Day with an intricate rendering of a mug ungh Wa (botanical name: Hibiscus syriacus), Korea’s national flower. Beloved by Koreans for over a thousand years, this bloom symbolizes perseverance and loyalty — the perfect complement to the country’s flag, known as Taegu-gi, which is emblazoned with a bold blue and red circle representing the harmony of yin-yang.