Chinese Language Day is observed on April 20 of every year. It was established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The UN and its affiliate organizations use this day to encourage multiculturalism and cultural diversity by displaying the history and literary culture of all six of its official language. The Six official languages of the UN are English, Arabic, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Russian. Each language has a day dedicated to it.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and he’ll eat forever”. – Chinese Proverb.
History of Chinese Language Day
It was observed on 12th November 2010. Then the date was moved to 20th April in 2011 to honor Cang Jie, a legendary figure in ancient China. About 5 thousand years ago, he was assumed to have invented the Chinese characters. Myths say that Cang Jie had four eyes and four pupils, and when he created the Chinese characters, gods and ghosts cried, and the sky rained millets. Since that time, the Chinese celebrate this day as Guyu or Rain of Millet in tribute to Cangjie. As per the Gregorian calendar date, Guyu is celebrated on or around 20th April. It is not a public holiday but just an observance. This day is created mainly to highlight the contribution of the Chinese language, poetry, and literature to world culture.
Other Celebrations on April 20
April 20 is also celebrated as
How to Celebrate the Day
If you like celebrating the day, join a Chinese language class if you don’t know Chinese. UN and its affiliates will organize many events, workshops, and concerts around the world, and you can participate in those activities. Then post pictures and share your thoughts about the day with others on social media using the hashtag #ChineseLanguageDay.
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