228 Memorial Day – February 28
Commemorates the February 28 Incident in 1947. On this day, all flags in the nation will be flown at half-mast as a mark of respect for the dead.
Although it is not a “traditional” holiday, the 228 Incident (sometimes known as the “228 Massacre”) has been a recognized Taiwan national holiday since 1995. The incident started as an anti-government uprising on February 27th, 1947. The KMT (Kuomintang) was the leading party at the time.
As the anti-government activity appeared to become more volatile, the KMT oppressed the uprising which resulted in 10,000 – 30,000 deaths as well as thousands of missing persons. For more than 50 years, this event was considered an unpatriotic taboo topic for Taiwanese and government officials. It wasn’t until the first democratically elected, and Taiwan born, president, Lee Deng-hui (李登煇) mentioned the incident in a speech to commemorate the day. At this time, the Taiwanese government stated that 2/28 would be a national holiday to remember those who lost their lives.