Chinese Language Day

Chinese Language Day is a holiday observed annually on April 20th. This holiday was established by the United Nations Department of Public Information to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity throughout the entire organization.

Each of the United Nations Duty Stations around the world is allowed to celebrate six separate days to honor the six official languages of the organization, and this day is dedicated to the Chinese language. At this moment, over a billion people on the planet speak Chinese as their first language, making this day an important international holiday.

The History of Chinese Language Day

Chinese Language Day was created in 2010 by the United Nations. The date for this holiday was chosen because it corresponds to the 6th of the 24 solar terms in the East Asian calendars and was selected from Guyu (Rain of Millet) to pay tribute to Cangjie, the official historian of the Yellow Emperor and the inventor of Chinese characters.

According to legend, when Cangjie invented the Chinese characters, all ghosts and deities cried, and millet fell from the sky. This day has since been observed in honor of him. On the Gregorian calendar, this holiday falls on April 20th.

Observing Chinese Language Day

Chinese Language Day can be observed not only by people who speak Chinese but also by those interested in Chinese culture. Every year, the UN has an event theme to highlight a particular aspect of this holiday.

For example, in 2021, the theme was ‘Highlight Pictographs.’ Everyone celebrating should also voice their support for this holiday by using the hashtag #ChineseLanguageDay on social media as well.

When is it?
This year (2024)
April 20 Saturday
Next year (2025)
April 20 Sunday
Last year (2023)
April 20 Thursday
Culture & History, United Nations