Valentine’s Day is an annual holiday also celebrated in Taiwan on the February 14. It originated as a Western Christian liturgical feast day, and is recognized as a significant cultural and commercial celebration in many regions around the world as well as Taiwan, although it is not a public holiday.
Across many Asian countries, including Taiwan, Valentine’s Day was traditionally for women to buy romantic gifts for men. It would then be a month later on March 14th, known as White Day, that the men would be expected to ‘answer’ to the Valentine’s Day gifts, and as it would be the men’s turn to give women chocolate, jewelry, lingerie, cookies or marshmallows. It’s expected that the gift from the man should be twice or thrice more expensive, than the Valentine’s gift.
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.
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