Day of The Spanish Language
On April 23rd, the “Day of the Spanish Language” is celebrated at the United Nations as a gesture to raise awareness about the history, culture and use of Spanish as an official language.
In 2010, the Organization decided to begin celebrating its diversity by creating “Language Days” for its 6 official languages:
March 20 – Day of the French language, coinciding with the International Day of La Francophonie.
April 20 – Day of the Chinese language, dedicated to Tsan Chieh, creator of the Chinese script.
April 23 – Day of the English language, which coincides with the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, arguably the most famous dramatist and poet in the world of English literature.
April 23 – Day of the Spanish language which shares the date of the death of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, the mind behind the Spanish letters.
June 6 – Day of the Russian language, on the anniversary of the birth of Alexander Pushkin known as the founder of modern Russian literature.
December 18 – Day of the Arabic language, which commemorates the approval in 1973 of Arabic as the official and working language of the General Assembly and its Main Committees.
The Original Day of Spanish (El Día del Idioma Español) dates back to 1926, when writer Vicente Clavel Andrés first proposed the idea of a day dedicated to celebrating Spanish literature. Beginning in Valencia, the tradition quickly spread throughout Spain, and in 1964, it was adopted by all Spanish-speaking countries. Originally, October 12th was chosen as the day of celebration because it is traditionally observed as the day when Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas, marking the beginning of the spread of the Spanish language and culture as well as its lasting impact on the "new world." As of now, there has been no official statement made by the UN as to why the date was changed.
The United Nations encourages companies around the world to celebrate the Days of Languages and organize cultural events that show the importance of multilingualism through music, art, food, and movies.
This year, activities coordinated by the UN will included reading extracts from Don Quixote, a Spanish language test, and a round table discussion about inclusive communication to gender in Spanish.
We hope you've enjoyed learning about the United Nations' Day of The Spanish Language! What would you like to see the UN include in next year's festivities? Leave a comment below to join the conversation!