What Is Double Ten Day?

Double Ten Day
Members of a school marching band perform during the Double Ten Day parade in Taipei Oct. 10, 2010. Lauren Mack / About.com

Double Ten Day (雙十節) is celebrated yearly on October 10. Double Ten Day is the anniversary of the Wuchang Uprising (武昌起義), a revolt that led to a declaration of independence from the central government by Wuchang and several other provinces in China in 1911.

The Wuchang Uprising led to the Xinhai Revolution (辛亥革命) in which revolutionary forces overthrew the Qing Dynasty, ending more than 2,000 years of dynastic rule in China and ushering in the Republican Era (1911-1949).

The revolutionaries were upset over government corruption, the encroachment of foreign countries into China, and resentment over Manchu rule over Han Chinese.

The Xinhai Revolution ended with Emperor Puyi being ousted from the Forbidden City in 1912. The Xinhai Revolution led to the establishment of the Republic of China (ROC) in January 1912.

After World War II, The ROC government lost control of the Chinese mainland to the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War (1946-1950). In 1949, the ROC government retreated to Taiwan, where its constitution has remained in force to the present day.

Who Celebrates Double Ten Day?

Nearly all Taiwanese have the day off from work on Double Ten Day in Taiwan. In mainland China, Double Ten Day is referred to as the Anniversary of the Wuchang Uprising (武昌起义纪念日) and memorial celebrations are often held. In Hong Kong, small parades and celebrations are held though they have not been as lavish since the transfer of Hong Kong’s sovereignty from the United Kingdom to China July 1, 1997.

Overseas Chinese living in cities with large Chinatowns also host Double Ten Day parades.

How Do People Celebrate Double Ten Day in Taiwan?

In Taiwan, Double Ten Day begins with a flag-raising ceremony in front of the Presidential Building. After the flag is raised, the National Anthem of the Republic of China is sung.

A parade from the Presidential Building to the Sun Yat-sen Memorial is held. The parade used to be a military parade but now government and civic organizations are included. Afterward, Taiwan’s president gives a speech. The day concludes with fireworks.