Constitution Day in Taiwan

In Taiwan, December 25th is observed as Constitution Day. This day commemorates the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of China after WWII. Although it’s not a public holiday, and as such, businesses remain open and people go to work, it’s still a day that’s observed by some.

However, it should be said that this holiday is beginning to fall out of the public’s favor, and many people are instead opting to observe Christmas, even though only about 5% of Taiwan’s population is Christian. Regardless, this holiday still has historical significance and is one that we’re going to explore in further detail.

The History of Constitution Day in Taiwan

After the First Sino-Japanese War, Japan was given full sovereignty over Taiwan under the authority of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. Starting in the 1920s, the citizens of Taiwan sought autonomy and attempted to petition the Imperial Japanese government to have a Taiwanese parliamentary assembly established. However, this was completely unsuccessful.

In the years following, political pressure did result in a few short-lived constitutions being granted. After WWII, following the Second Sino-Japanese War, Chiang Kai-shek was pressured into adopting a democratic constitution that ended the one-party rule of the Kuomintang.

The fifth Constitution of the Republic of China was ratified by the Kuomintang during the National Assembly that was held on December 25th, 1946. Constitution Day was established in 1963 to commemorate this Constitution.

Some Key Facts About Taiwan

Before we dig into an exploration of how Constitution Day is celebrated in modern Taiwan, we thought that we’d take a few moments to go over some of the facts that we’ve learned about it while researching this holiday. We feel that the following points will prove interesting to anyone looking to learn more about it.

  • Approximately 97.7% of the Taiwanese population is ethnically Han Chinese. The other 2.3% includes indigenous peoples.
  • Taiwan is home to over 23 million people.
  • In Taiwan, red is often used at weddings, and white is used at funerals.
  • Mandarin is the official language of Taiwan.
  • Taiwan is home to night markets that offer noodle soups, grilled meats, and fresh fruits.

Observing Constitution Day in Taiwan

For some older people in Taiwan, Constitution Day is a holiday that’s observed. Some people in Taiwan observe Christmas on this day, using traditions that they learned when the U.S. had a large military presence in Taiwan.

Either way, it’s not a day off for the general public, and most businesses remain open for the day. On social media, the hashtag #ConstitutionDayTaiwan can be used to spread the word about it.

Where is it celebrated?
Taiwan (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
December 25 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
December 25 Thursday
Last year (2023)
December 25 Monday