Double Tenth Day


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Double Tenth Day

October 10
Double Tenth Day is a national holiday in Taiwan to commemorate the Chinese Revolution of October 10, 1911. The revolt marked the end of the Ching, or Qing, Dynasty that had been established in 1644 by the Manchus, and it led to the founding of the Republic of China on January 1, 1912.
It took the Ching rulers several decades to complete their military conquest of China and by 1683, when Taiwan became part of the empire, they governed all of China. The Ching Court's period of glory was in the time of the first three emperors, but after 1795 the court began a slow decline. By the end of the 19th century, Japan and the Western powers had reduced China to what Sun Yat-sen called a "sub-colony," the court was weak and corrupt, and a group of national capitalists was fomenting uprisings. Sun Yat-sen was one of the leaders of this nationalistic group; he was a Jeffersonian figure who wanted a Western-style government with a parliament and separation of powers.
In October 1911, when a revolt in Wuchang (in the province of Hubei) succeeded, supportive uprisings broke out in other cities. The fall of the Manchus followed. Sun Yat-sen, who was in Denver, Colo., at the time of the October revolt, returned to Shanghai and was elected provisional president of the new republic. He is thought of today as the father of modern China, and his birthday on Nov. 12 is also a national holiday in Taiwan.
For several weeks before Double Tenth Day, the plaza in front of the Presidential Office Building in Taipei, Taiwan, is illuminated. Here there are massive parades and rallies on the holiday, displays of martial arts, folk dancing, and other cultural activities. dazzling display of fireworks is presented over an island in the middle of the Tanshui River.
CONTACTS:
Taiwan Government Information Office
4201 Wisconsin Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20016
202-895-1850; fax: 202-362-6144
www.gio.gov.tw
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 171
NatlHolWrld-1968, p. 189