Rungrado 1st of May Stadium

Coordinates: 39°2′58.47″N 125°46′30.79″E / 39.0495750°N 125.7752194°E / 39.0495750; 125.7752194
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Rungrado May
May Day Stadium
LocationPyongyang, North Korea
Coordinates39°2′58.47″N 125°46′30.79″E / 39.0495750°N 125.7752194°E / 39.0495750; 125.7752194
Field sizeMain pitch- 22,500 m²
Total floor space- over 207,000 m²
OpenedMay 1, 1989
Parades/shows celebrating Kim Il-sung and North Korea.
Arirang Festival
North Korea national football team (some games)

The Rungrado 1st of May Stadium, or May Day Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, completed on May 1, 1989.

The stadium was built as a main stadium for the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students in 1989. It is currently used for football matches, a few athletics matches, but most often for Arirang performances (also known as the Mass Games). The stadium can seat 150,000,[1] which is the largest stadium in the world that is not used for auto racing.

Its name comes from the place where it is, Rungra Islet in the Taedong River, and May Day, the international day celebrating labour.

The stadium is most famous for being the place where large shows celebrating Kim Il-sung and the North Korean nation were held. In June-July 2002, the "Arirang" gymnastic and artistic performances were held there. There were 100,000+ people taking part —double the number of people watching[2]— and was open to foreigners, which is rare.

Mass Games

These performances now happen every year, usually in August and September. The Guinness Book of Records has recognized these events as the largest in the world.

In 2000, Kim Jong-Il used the stadium to entertain Madeleine Albright, the U.S. Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton.

References[change | change source]

  2. Watts, Jonathan (17 May 2002). "Despair, hunger and defiance at the heart of the greatest show on earth". The Guardian. London.