Republic of China (ROC) National Celebration, also known as ten-ten, is the national day of Taiwan.
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It is held every October 10th to mark the date of the Wuchang Uprising of 1911 that overthrew the Chinese emperor and established a republican form of government.
Because mainland China fell under the control of Communist forces who defeated the republican forces during the Chinese Civil War, the ROC fled to Taiwan in 1949, where they have kept the October 10th celebration ever since. It is also observed in mainland China, but in association with the Maoist revolution, and is observed by ethnic Chinese scattered all over the world.
During World War II, Taiwan was under Japanese control. In fact, it had been since 1895, but it was returned to China in 1945 after the war ended. Thus, Taiwan was only a part of the ROC for four short years before becoming its last remaining stronghold.
The most traditionally important part of ROC National Day celebrations is the annual military parade, which passes in front of the president’s residence in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital city. The first such display occurred in 1949, but after a tragic accident where a fighter jet’s fuel tank fell and killed three people, it was cancelled until 1975. Even since that time, it has been uncertain year to year whether the parade will be held, but when it is, it is the centre of attention.
Should the tourist be in Taiwan for ROC National Day, some events he or she should be sure to attend include:
- The main official celebration in Taipei, where the president gives a speech and a flag raising ceremony begins the festivities. The Taiwanese national anthem is sung by the crowds, who then proceed to engage in all manner of celebrations in front of the presidential residency. These include performances like the lion dance, drummer teams, and musical or entertainment based on either Chinese or indigenous Taiwanese cultural traditions. If there is a National Day Parade, there will be marchers in it hailing from all walks of life rather than just the military, and cultural performances will be integrated into the parade as it moves through the streets.
- Look for the National Day Concert and other patriotic concerts throughout the island, besides outdoor pop concerts. There will also be carnivals and local parades in other towns in Taiwan, not just in Taipei.
- Another major highlight of ROC National Day celebrations is the hours-long fireworks display, which is held in a different part of the country each year. The explosions are large, colourful, and elaborate, and there are other, smaller fireworks displays held in cities all over the island.
- You may also wish to get away and relax at Kenting National Park. You will find the scenic beauty of a semi-tropical forest and a beach that is good for swimming, diving, and surfing.
- Also consider touring the Tainan Aboriginal Beinan Cultural Village, which reconstructs one of the earliest known settlements on the island. It doubles as one of the largest amusement parks in Taiwan and is right next to the famous and beautiful Sun Moon Lake.
ROC National Day is the perfect time to see Taiwanese patriotism at its peak and to explore the local culture, even while enjoying the numerous fun and exciting activities.