(CNN)North Korea celebrated the 85th anniversary of the founding of its army Tuesday, a significant date in the country’s calendar.
CNN is in the country now and captured some of the holiday activity.
Built in 1974, Mansugyo Soft Drinks restaurant is one of the oldest in Pyongyang. Our minder remembers coming here every Sunday morning with his parents as a child. Obviously, he had a privileged upbringing. Many North Koreans aren’t so fortunate.
Mansugyo cafe is buzzing with local people enjoying the seven different kinds of beer on offer and making the most of a rare day off.
This popular ‘beer parlour’ was famously visited by President Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il in 1974.
We are rarely allowed to photograph these, but images of the late North Korean leaders adorn most public spaces in Pyongyang. This photo shows President Kim Il Sung and his son and successor General Kim Jong Il inspecting a restaurant in 1974.
The cafe has been around for decades and offers up local delicacies, like dried pollock, washed down with a beer made entirely of rice.
Dried pollock is a popular bar snack in North Korea. This is the Taedongang brewery with seven kinds of draft beer. I’m not a beer expert, but it’s good!
In the supermarkets, there’s very little choice in what food people can purchase, with only a few local products available. Most shops carry the same cans, and shelves are largely stocked with goods imported from China.
Canned duck soup and canned meat from China for sale in a North Korean supermarket
And despite North Korea being a socialist country, while some goods are distributed freely, many are still purchased with cash.
Rare look inside a North Korean supermarket, where many of the products come from China. This market is particularly popular because it was inspected five years ago by North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.
On a public holiday, or any other special occasion, Pyongyang’s citizens also celebrate by dancing in the streets wearing formal, colorful clothing.
The 85th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army is a public holiday in North Korea, which means a rare day off for Pyongyang citizens. You often see dancing in the streets on holidays like this.
Known as Hanbok in South Korea, this form of traditional dress is called Joson Ot in the North.
North Korean women dressed in their finest Joson ot (traditional Korean dress)
Adults, especially men, traditionally dress very uniformly in North Korea.
Children, however, can often be seen in colorful clothing — mostly imported from China.
There are signs that some younger people might be trying to modernize their dress, but as a rule, as an adult, there doesn’t seem to be much desire to stand out from the crowd.
You often see children in Pyongyang dressed in bright, colorful clothing, contrasting the more conservative darker outfits worn by many adults
Like everywhere in the world, little boys can be seen sporting small guns as toys.
But this is especially true in this militarized nation, where even nurseries are full of toy tanks, missiles and guns, as well as books and stuffed animals.
A North Korean boy brandishes a toy gun as his country celebrates the 85th anniversary of its army
There are a number of events and military ceremonies over the course of the day marking the 85th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army, and convoys of military personnel take to the streets, greeted by waving citizens.
It’s army day in North Korea. Women wave to a passing military convoy.