The Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, has been officially listed as a UN floating holiday in its calendar of conferences and meetings as from 2024.
The UN General Assembly, in a resolution, acknowledges the significance of the Lunar New Year, which is observed in many UN member states, and invites the UN bodies at headquarters and other duty stations, where observed, to avoid holding meetings on the Lunar New Year.
The resolution, adopted on Friday without a vote, encourages this arrangement to be taken into account when drafting future calendars of conferences and meetings.
Dai Bing, China’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, said after the adoption of the resolution that the Spring Festival, as a traditional Chinese holiday featuring family reunion and good wishes for the coming year, not only bears the ideas of the Chinese civilization of peace and harmony but also carries the common values of humanity such as harmonious family, social inclusion and sound relationship between man and nature.
Many countries list the Spring Festival as a national holiday, and about one-fifth of humanity celebrates this festival in various ways, he added.
Dai said China’s efforts to promote the Spring Festival as a UN holiday is a pragmatic step toward realizing its Global Civilization Initiative and advocating for diversity in civilizations.
The resolution serves as a showcase of the influence of Chinese civilization and aims to enhance interactions between diverse civilizations worldwide. It also reflects the values of diversity and inclusion promoted by the United Nations, he said.
The listing of the Spring Festival as a UN holiday was widely welcomed among member states and staff members of the UN Secretariat, Dai added.
The United Nations identifies globally observed holidays as floating holidays and refrains from scheduling meetings on such occasions.