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On September 28th, 1912, overseas Chinese in San Francisco, USA, held a parade to celebrate the first birthday of the Republic of China. According to The San Francisco Call, September 28th is a date to be red lettered in the history of new China, as the fourth of July is in the history of the United States. Why did the overseas Chinese in San Francisco considered September 28th instead of October 10th as the birthday of the Republic of China?
On September 28th, 1911, which is lunar August 18th, the organization of the rebels in Wuchang was uncovered by the Qing government. Many people, including Peng Chufan, had been captured and executed. On the next day, September 29th, The rebels occupied the government of the Viceroy of Huguang, and put up Li Yuanhong as the military governor. Lunar August 18th, 1911 is October 9th in the western calendar, while lunar August 19th, 1911 is October 10th. The overseas Chinese in San Francisco still use the lunar calendar to calculate memorial days. Therefore, they chose lunar August 18th, 1912 to celebrate the first anniversary of the Revolution.
In China, which just started using Western calendar, many people, like those in San Francisco, still celebrate the Revolution on lunar August 18th, 1912 (September 28th, 1912). As a matter of fact, it was the day when the government of the Republic of China officially announced October 10th as the National Day. The overseas Chinese in San Francisco celebrated the day in an unprecedented way. It is said that there was no imperial dragon flags or traditional gongs and tom-toms in the parade. Instead, there was the five-colored flag, representing the Republic, the “Blue Sky with a White Sun flag” representing the Kuomintang, and marching bands in white or blue uniforms. This festival not only showed the participants’ support to the new republic, but also indicated how they were influenced by American culture.
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