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1998 mass games in Pyongyang. The performers are honoring the image of the former North Korean leader Kim Il Sung.

Mass games or mass gymnastics are a form of performing arts or gymnastics in which large numbers of performers take part in a highly regimented performance that emphasizes group dynamics rather than individual prowess. Because of the vast scale of the performance, with often tens of thousands of performers, mass games are performed in stadia, often accompanied by a background of card-turners occupying the seats on the opposite side from the viewers. Mass games are typically used to emphasize themes of political propaganda. They developed alongside 19th century nationalist movements, particularly the Czech Sokol movement, as they embodied youth, strength, militarism, and unity.

Today, mass games are regularly performed only in North Korea, where they take place to celebrate national holidays such as the birthdays of rulers Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il. In recent years, they have been the main attraction of the Arirang Festival in Pyongyang. The 2004 film A State of Mind details the training of two young girls from Pyongyang who perform in the mass games.

In Bulgaria, mass games were occasionally held during the Zname na mira ("Flag of Peace") international youth festivals. Despite that, Bulgaria did not have a tradition in mass games and they were performed rarely.

Arirang Festival mass games display in Pyongyang.

See also


  • "Mass Games in North Korea". Insight. CNN. 2005-10-04. Transcript.

External links

‎Albanian Mass Games, late 70's. The performers are honoring the image of the former Albanian Communist leader Enver Hoxha.


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