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UN Chinese Language Day: When, How And Why Is It Celebrated?

UN Chinese Language Day is celebrated by UNESCO to honour the multilingual culture and diversity. It is celebrated on April 20 every year. Read more about it.

un chinese language day

The UN Chinese Language Day is observed annually on April 20. This event is celebrated every year by the UNESCO. It was first observed in 2010 by the organisation to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) through the organisation. The first UN Chinese Language Day was held on November 12, 2010. In 2011, the date was moved to April 20.

Why is UN Chinese Language Day celebrated?

The UN Chinese Language Day is celebrated on April 20 to honour Cang Jie, a mythical figure who is presumed to have invented Chinese characters about 5000 years ago. The date of April 20 roughly corresponds to Guyu is the Chinese calendar. Chinese people celebrate Guyu in honour of Cangjie because when Cangjie invented Chinese characters, the deities and ghosts cried and it rained millet. The word 'Guyu' literally means 'rain of millet'. Traditionally, it is believed that the indigenous speech of the Han majority in China, Chinese, forms one of the branches of the Sino-Tibetan language family and is now spoken by many Chinese ethnic groups. Varieties of Chinese are usually perceived by native speakers as dialects of a single Chinese language.

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UN Chinese Language Day celebration

The UN and its affiliate organisations hold events that showcase the beauty and rich cultural history of the Chinese language on the UN Chinese Language Day. Workshops and seminars feature prominent Chinese authors, poets, and calligraphers. Concerts featuring Chinese music, martial arts performances, and calligraphy exhibitions are held around the world. UN Chinese Language Day is not an official holiday and businesses, schools and government offices are open on this day.

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