Opium Suppression Movement Day

Opium Suppression Movement Day is a holiday that’s observed annually on June 3rd in Taiwan. The purpose of this holiday is to commemorate the burning of opium over the course of the First Opium War. This war, also known as the Anglo-Chinese War, was a series that was fought between Great Britain and the Qing Dynasty from 1839 to 1842.

It was a war over conflicting viewpoints on the subject of trade, diplomatic justice, and the administration of justice for foreign nationals. The holiday that commemorates the burning of over 2.66 million pounds of opium is observed in every city in modern-day Taiwan, but it’s not a day off for the general population.

The History Of Opium Suppression Movement Day

On June 3, 1839, the Emperor of China rejected a proposal to legalize and tax opium and abolished all trade with Great Britain. Approximately 2.66 million pounds would end up being confiscated without compensation for the traders and then promptly destroyed. Eventually, the war ended in 1842 and was a win for Great Britain. China signed the Treaty of Nanking, an instrument that opened up the Chinese market to global commerce and the opium trade.

Amazing Facts About The Opium Wars

Need a history refresher? If you do, then allow us to offer up the following hand-picked facts about the Opium Wars.

  • The East India Company was smuggling opium into China way before the First Opium War.
  • By the early 19th century, there were up to 12-million opium addicts in China.
  • By the 1830s, the British were selling up to 1,400 tons of opium to China every year.

Observing Opium Suppression Movement Day

This isn’t a public holiday but is more of an observatory holiday. It’s a day when people are encouraged to learn more about the Opium Suppression Movement. Since it’s not a public holiday, schools, government buildings, and businesses remain open on this day.

Where is it celebrated?
Taiwan (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2023)
June 3 Saturday
Next year (2024)
June 3 Monday
Last year (2022)
June 3 Friday