Peace Memorial Day

taiwan National Holiday in Taiwan

228 Memorial Park in Taichung
228 Memorial Park in Taichung, Taiwan

When is Peace Memorial Day?

Year Day Date
2017 Tuesday February 28th
2016 Monday February 29th
2015 Friday February 27th
2014 Friday February 28th
2013 Thursday February 28th

This holiday is celebrated on 28 February.

If the holiday falls on a Saturday, the Friday before will be a holiday and if it falls on Sunday, the following Monday will be a holiday.

Peace memorial Day marks the date of an uprising in 1947, that was suppressed by the Chinese.

History of Peace Memorial Day

In 1945, the defeat of the Japanese in World War II meant the end of 50 years of Japanese rule of Taiwan.

The Allied Forces gave temporary control of Taiwan to the Republic of China, so they could handle the surrender of Japanese troops and local administration.

Over the next two years, many locals became increasingly resentful of what they felt was corrupt and authoritarian rule by the Chinese administration.

On 27 February 1947 a dispute between a female cigarette vendor and a Chinese official started civil unrest and open rebellions. The Chinese responded with severe military force and put Taiwan under martial law. Martial law was only lifted in 1987.

The estimates of the number of people killed range from 10,000 to over 30,000. The massacre became known as the 228 (February 28th) massacre and was the start of the so-called 'White Terror' period in Taiwan, in which thousands were killed, disappeared or imprisoned.

The subject of the 228 massacre was taboo for decades. It wasn't until 1995 that the event was first publicly acknowledged by a Taiwanese head of state and 28 February made a national holiday to commemorate the events of 1947. Since then, several monuments have been erected in memory of the massacre and Taipei New Park was renamed 228 Memorial Park.

How is Peace Memorial Day celebrated?

Every 28 February, the president rings a commemorative bell in memory of the victims of the 228 massacre. The president bows to family members of the victims and each one a receives a certificate that officially exonerates any victims who until 1995, had been blacklisted as enemies of the state.

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