Opium Suppression Movement Day

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

It was a war over conflicting viewpoints on trade, diplomatic justice, and the administration of justice for foreign nationals. The holiday commemorates the burning of over 2.66 million pounds of opium and is observed in every city in modern-day Taiwan, but it is 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 of opium were confiscated without compensation for the traders and then promptly destroyed. Eventually, the war ended in 1842 with a victory for Great Britain. China signed the Treaty of Nanking, an agreement that opened up the Chinese market to global commerce and the opium trade.

Amazing Facts About the Opium Wars

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

  • The East India Company was smuggling opium into China long 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 is not a public holiday but rather an observatory one. It is a day when people are encouraged to learn more about the Opium Suppression Movement. Since it is 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 (2024)
June 3 Monday
Next year (2025)
June 3 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
June 3 Saturday