On 10 October 1911, the Wuchang Uprising was launched as part of the Xinhai Revolution to overthrow the Manchu Qing, the last imperial dynasty in China. This ended over 2,000 years of monarchy. Since the establishment of the Republic of China in 1912, the revolution has been celebrated on Double Ten Day. After the Chinese Civil War, the Nationalists Kuomintang relocated to Taiwan and the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China in 1949 on the mainland. In the PRC, 10 October is not formally considered the National Day, as it usually celebrates its own national day on 1 October.
On New Year's Eve of 2011, a large celebration took place at Keelung River. About 850,000 people celebrated at Xinyi District including NT$60 million worth of fireworks.
The Double Ten day official ceremony began in the morning of October 10, 2011 where a flag raising ceremony was held. Subsequent activities were followed including a military parade involving more than 1,000 military personnel, 71 aircraft and 168 vehicles. The personnel number is however much smaller than celebrations in the past. The slogan of the ceremony is "Republic of China, Splendid 100" (中華民國，精彩一百).
President Ma Ying-jeou made a National Day address to the nation. He urged Beijing to pursue democracy and "face the existence of the Republic of China". Over 50 delegations and 1,500 distinguished guests representing ROC's diplomatic allies visited Taiwan during the celebration. Many notables including US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso and Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus were in attendance. Japan sent a delegation with record setting numbers.
There were also 5634 people who reportedly married exactly on the 100th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution, at 10 minutes to 10 am on 10 October. This is double 2010 and 18 times more than the average day.
The 100th anniversary ceremony was held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The event was attended by all nine members of the Politburo Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee. The event was attended by Party General Secretary Hu Jintao as well as former leader Jiang Zemin. Hu gave a 20-minute speech that emphasized Chinese reunification. The ceremony then lasted 40 minutes featuring a giant portrait of Sun Yat-sen supported by 10 PRC flags.
In Wuhan the government officials spent 43 million yuan in restoring three 1911 heritage sites, but they were careful in not letting the celebration outshine the 90th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party that took place in July. In addition, from August 27 to October 10, Wuhan's security forces were supported with thousands of officers including 100 paramilitary police and 200 special police armed with submachine guns on street duty with 250,000 surveillance cameras. The celebration is referred to as "100th anniversary of Xinhai Revolution". Since January 2011 Guangzhou held its own celebrations to commemorate the Guangzhou uprisings. At the Guangdong Museum of Revolutionary History separate celebrations were held in October 2011. In the PRC, the event is generally not referred to as the "100th anniversary of the Republic of China", but as the "100th anniversary of Xinhai Revolution".
In 2010, one of the main anniversary events was to make a film on the life of Sun Yat-sen shot in places where he lived and worked, including Britain, Singapore, Japan and Hawaii. The government provided NT$20 million for the film. Movies such as 1911 were also made for the 100th anniversary. The discovery channel and the Taiwan government also aligned for a three part special show. In Macau a tour of Dr. Sun's revolutionary trail was launched for the 100th anniversary. Hong Kong Post also launched Centenary Xinhai Revolution stamps.
Keynotes made by Hu Jintao were interpreted by members of the Taiwan independence movement as exploiting the image of Sun Yat-sen to intensify measures against the movement. Taiwan aboriginal rights activists of the Sediq National Assembly who represent the Atayal people announced a headhunt against the ROC government. The headhunts usually get rid of evil spirits. The activists compared the ROC government to the Japanese colonial government that preceded it which took their people's land and resources. The Indigeonous People's Coalition said there is nothing to celebrate as the aboriginals have suffered under the government. They performed their own mgaya ceremony. Some have said the ROC government is a "Chinese government in exile" and should be out of Taiwan. But Pan-green DPP candidate Tsai Ing-wen famously said "The ROC is Taiwan, Taiwan is the ROC" for the first time in her career.
In April 2011 an inter-university debate related to Sun Yat-sen was supposed to be hosted by the Beijing Institute of Technology. But it was banned by the University's Communist Youth League. The Dr. Sun opera about a love story between Soong Ching-ling and Sun was supposed to have a world premiere at the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing on September 30. It was canceled for "logistics reasons".
There have been criticism that the PRC need to spend more money on its poor, sick and elderly instead on the anniversary celebration. Activist Wang Dan criticized the PRC government's celebration of democracy to be ironic.
During the PRC ceremony in the Great Hall of the People, only the national anthem of the People's Republic of China was played. A similar case occurred in Hong Kong during TVB's "Variety show Commemorating the Centenary of the 1911 Revolution" (百年辛亥 中華總商會111週年文藝匯演), where the PRC national anthem was played in lieu of the ROC anthem.
In ROC, for the preparation of the anniversary, new songs were made and chosen to commemorate the founding of the ROC. One of the requirements was that the composer be an ROC citizen. But according to legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) the songs available for voting may not have been from ROC citizens as the evaluation was sloppy.
The original slogan for the Pan-Blue camp was "Republic of China, Founded 100 Years" (中華民國，建國一百), but was later changed to "Republic of China, Splendid 100" (中華民國，精彩一百). The words meaning "building country" (建國) were replaced with "splendid" (精彩).
In 2009, amid planning for the celebrations, Beijing suggested that the PRC and ROC hold joint centennial celebrations. However, Beijing required the term "Republic of China" not be used. President Ma Ying-jeou rejected the idea.