UN Chinese Language Day

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UN Chinese Language Day
DateApril 20
Next time20 April 2019 (2019-04-20)
Related toInternational Mother Language Day,
UN Arabic Language Day, UN English Language Day, UN French Language Day, UN Russian Language Day, UN Spanish Language Day

UN Chinese Language Day is observed annually on April 20.[1] The event was established by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)[not in citation given] in 2010, seeking "to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organization". April 20 was chosen as the date "to pay tribute to Cangjie, a mythical figure who is presumed to have invented Chinese characters about 5,000 years ago".[2]

The first Chinese Language Day was celebrated in 2010 on the 12th of November,[3][4] but since 2011 the date has been the 20th of April, roughly corresponding to Guyu in the Chinese calendar.[5] Chinese people celebrate Guyu (which usually begins around April 20) in honour of Cangjie, because of a legend that when Cangjie invented Chinese characters, the deities and ghosts cried and it rained millet; the word "Guyu" literally means "rain of millet".[5]


  1. ^ , News Release UN launches new initiative to promote multilingualism. Consulted on 2011-04-23.
  2. ^ , News Release UN celebrates Chinese Language Day with art and exhibitions. Consulted on 2011-04-23.
  3. ^ Jingbo Huang (2010-11-11). "Chinese Language Day celebrated at HQ on Friday, 12 November". deleGATE — iSeek for Member States. Archived from the original on 2012-09-27. Retrieved 2011-07-26.
  4. ^ "First-ever Chinese Language Day celebrated at UN". Xinhuanet. 2010-11-13. Archived from the original on 2010-11-16. Retrieved 2011-07-26.
  5. ^ a b "United Nations Chinese Language Day". United Nations. Retrieved 2011-07-26.

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