NKoreans Bow At Kim's Portrait On New Year Holiday

Published January 23, 2012 3:27AM (EST)

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Kim Jong Il's portrait is back up at Pyongyang's main plaza, and North Koreans are arriving by the dozens to pay their respects to the late leader.

Monday is New Year's Day according to the lunar calendar, and North Koreans have three days off to celebrate the traditional holiday.

The city is coming to life again more than a month after Kim's death. The national flag and banners heralding "Juche 101" are fluttering from buildings. Lanterns saying "Happy New Year" and "2012" have been hung in restaurant doorways. "Juche 101" is the current year according to the North Korean calendar.

Children are playing traditional Korean games at the plaza in front of the Pyongyang Grand Theater despite frigid temperatures.

By Salon Staff

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