Overseas Chinese Day

Every October 21st is celebrated as Overseas Chinese Day in the Republic of China, also known as Taiwan to most people. This is an unofficial holiday dedicated to people of Chinese descent or birth who currently live outside Taiwan and China. There are several different names in the Chinese language for Chinese who live outside the greater China area.

This includes the term Huáqiáo, which refers to citizens of Taiwan or China who reside in other countries, and Huáyì for those who are Chinese and living in other countries but aren’t citizens of either Taiwan or China.

The History of Overseas Chinese Day in Taiwan

This holiday can be traced back to 1925 when it was created to commemorate the establishment of the Overseas Community Affairs Council, also known as OCAC. This government institution served—and still serves—as a conduit for educational exchanges that help citizens of Taiwan with economic, cultural, and informational requests for those living in other countries. Its stated goal was to establish ties with ethnic Chinese who lived in foreign countries but still identified as Taiwanese.

Observing Overseas Chinese Day in Taiwan

Since there are Chinese communities located all over the world, this holiday is observed just about everywhere. It’s a day for citizens of Taiwan to celebrate their cultural and ethnic identity. Because this is an unofficial holiday, it’s not celebrated as a public holiday in either Taiwan or any of the Taiwanese communities located throughout the world.

This holiday is always observed on October 21st in each of the communities that celebrate it. Because it’s not an official holiday, it’s not a day off for most people, and businesses, government offices, and schools operate according to their normal schedules. It’s a cultural holiday that allows all those of Taiwanese descent to feel connected with Taiwan.

Where is it celebrated?
Taiwan (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
October 21 Monday
Next year (2025)
October 21 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
October 21 Saturday