North Korea observed the birth anniversary of late Kim Jong -II Feb. 16.

According to the Daily Mail, thousands of people gathered outside the Kumsusan Memorial Palace as a spectacular military parade proceeded down the streets of the capital of Pyongyang. The birth anniversary is dubbed as the Day of the Shining Star.

The event saw fireworks being set off as people waved artificial pink and red flowers in the air. North Korea's new leader, Kim Jong-un, went with officials into the palace to bow before a portrait of his late father.

At Kim II Sung Square, North Korean bowed and laid red 'kimjongilia' begonias before the portrait of the late leader which hung on the Grand People's Study House.

In honor of Jong-II, a larger than life bronze statue of him on horseback was unveiled Tuesday, the BBC said. The statue was erected alongside that of his father and founder of North Korea, Kim II-sung.

The news service added that Jong-II gave instructions that he did not want to see a bronze statue of himself while he was alive.

The event marked not only the birthday of Jong-II but was also held as an opportunity to pledge loyalty to his son.

The nation plunged into a period of mourning in light of the leader's demise of a heart attack on Dec. 17. Soon after, Jong-un was appointed as his father's successor. During the 17-year rule of Jong-II, North Korea became a dictatorship and saw of period of famine and tensions over its nuclear weapons program.

Despite the prevailing electricity and food shortages in the country, the lavish celebrations held in homage to Jong II proceeded with unrestrained pomp and splendor that day.

The timing of this public ceremony ... allows North Korea to make a last major public expression of grief as part of moving on and getting back to a lot of orders of business, John Delury, assistant professor at Yonsei University's Graduate School of International Studies in South Korea, said in a statement.

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