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Grain Rain, Also is UN Chinese Language Day

UN Chinese Language Day is observed annually on April 20. The event was established by the UN Department of Public Information 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". According to the Chinese solar term, Grain Rain falls around April 20 every year. The United Nations has designated Grain Rain as the "International Chinese Language Day"(UN Chinese Language Day).

Why April 20?

The date for the Chinese day was selected from Grain Rain (Chinese: 谷雨 gǔ yǔ), which is the 6th of 24 solar terms in the traditional East Asian calendars, to pay tribute to Cangjie. Cangjie is a very important figure in ancient China, claimed to be an official historian of the Yellow Emperor and the inventor of Chinese characters. Legend has it that he had four eyes and four pupils, and that when he invented the characters, the deities and ghosts cried and the sky rained millet. From then on, Chinese people celebrate the day Guyu in honour of Cangjie. In the Gregorian calendar, it usually begins around April 20.

Chinese at the UN

Chinese was established as an official language of the United Nations in 1946. However, in early years, Chinese was not commonly used in the work of the United Nations. The situation was improved after restoration of the lawful rights of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations in 1971. In 1973, the General Assembly included Chinese as a working language, which was followed by the Security Council in 1974. More and more UN offices and staff members work with Chinese language.

HOW TO OBSERVE #ChineseLanguageDay

  • Study the Chinese language and culture.

  • Learn more at

  • Use #ChineseLanguageDay to share on social media.

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Days Countdown to Chinese New Year

The current date is 20 April 2022

277 days until 22 January 2023 (Chinese New Year)


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