Children's Day

Children's Day
Children's Day
Type Historical
Date Varies regionally (Universal Children's Day is celebrated on April 30
Related to Father's Day, Mother's Day, International Men's Day, International Women's Day, Parents' Day

"Children Day", as an event, is celebrated on various days in many places around the world, in particular to honor children. Major global variants include a Universal Children's Day on November 20, by United Nations recommendation.[1] Children's Day is often celebrated on other days as well.


International Children's Day

The World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland proclaimed June 1 to be International Children's Day in 1925. It is not clear as to why June 1 was chosen as the International Children's Day: one theory has it that the Chinese consul-general in San Francisco (USA) gathered a number of Chinese orphans to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival in 1925, which was on June 1. that year, and also coincided with the conference in Geneva.

The holiday is celebrated on 1 June each year. It is usually marked with speeches on children's rights and wellbeing, children TV programs, parties, various actions involving or dedicated to children, families going out, etc.[2][3][4]

Universal Children's Day

Universal Children's Day takes place on November 20 annually. First proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954, it was established to encourage all countries to institute a day, firstly to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children and secondly to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world's children. It was also chosen as the day to celebrate childhood. Universal Children's Day is preceded by International Men's Day on November 19 creating a 48 hour celebration of men and children respectively during which time the positive roles men play in children's lives are recognized.[5][6]

The holiday was first celebrated worldwide in October 1953, under the sponsorship of International Union for Child Welfare in Geneva. The idea of a Universal Children's Day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954.

November 20 is also the anniversary of the day when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the [Declaration of the Rights of the Child] in 1959. The Convention on the Rights of the Child was then signed on the same day in 1989, which has since been ratified by 191 states.

Observance around the world


In Albania, Children's Day is celebrated on June 1. On Children's day, Albanians give children presents, have parades, and hold ceremonies.


In Angola, International Children's Day (Dia Internacional da Criança) is celebrated on June 3 and is a national holiday.


In Argentina, Children's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in August and it's known as Día del Niño.[7] Until the 1990s, the celebration was on the first Sunday of August. Because in some years most employees were not paid by the first Sunday, the celebration was changed to the second Sunday in August.


In Armenia, the Children's Day is celebrated on 1 June. The tradition to celebrate the Children's Day on 1 June was inherited from the times of the Soviet Union. Usually on this day a lot of entertainment activities are organized for and with children across the country. Children's Day also presents good opportunity for organizations such as UNICEF to advocate for children's rights in different platforms and fora. The celebrations of Children's Day also continue beyond June 1 and numerous NGOs organize various events, including fundraising with participation of renowned singers, movie stars, governmental and public persons as well as top-ranking officials.


Children's Day Australia is the second Sunday in July. Children's Day Australia is a registered trademark.[8]

In Australia, Universal Children's Day is always on the fourth Wednesday of October. Universal Children's Day calls society to a greater response to the plight of many millions of children around the world who are denied the basic necessities of a happy childhood and the education to develop their capacities. It also calls on Australians to consider those conditions in society which affect the lives and future of our own children.[9]

Children's Week includes Universal Children's Day. Children's Week celebrates the right of children to enjoy childhood. Thousands of children across Australia are involved in activities organised by schools, childcare centres, play groups, libraries, cultural and community groups. Children's Week is great opportunity for children to be able to display their talents, skills and achievements and simply celebrate the earlier years of childhood. Events and activities focus on language and literacy, health, sport and recreation, the arts and science, as well as children's cultural, social and emotional needs.[10]


Universal Children's Day was not well known in Bangladesh and never celebrated until in 2007, a youth based organization called JAAGO Foundation started to observe it. On this day, JAAGO volunteers switch places with child hawkers to raise awareness about child rights, primarily education. UCD has been recently gaining popularity and is commemorated by an increasing number of youngsters every year during the month of November.

Universal Children's Day -at Jaago Foundation in Bangladesh


In Bolivia, Children's Day (Día del Niño) is celebrated on April 12.


In Brazil, Children's Day is celebrated on October 12, coinciding with Our Lady of Aparecida's day, the country's Patron Saint, which is holiday.


In Bulgaria, children's day is celebrated on 1 June.[11] Traditionally kids receive very special attention from their family, including Birthday-like presents. All drivers are expected to drive with their lights on all day long to demonstrate extra vigilance over children's safety.


Canada's "National Child Day" is held on November 20 each year. National Child Day has been celebrated across Canada since 1993 to commemorate the United Nations' adoption of two documents centered on children's rights: the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child on November 20, 1959, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on November 20, 1989.

Central Africa

In Congo, Congo DR, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Chad, Central African Republic,Children's Day is celebrated on December 25 to honour all the children there.


In Chile, Children's Day Día del Niño is celebrated on the first Sunday of August. It retains none of the international flavor as a day to recognize the needs of or rights of children, but is observed merely as a commercial holiday dedicated to buying toys for children.


Mainland China

Children's Day (China)
Traditional Chinese 六一國際兒童節
Simplified Chinese 六一国际儿童节

In the People's Republic of China, Children's Day is celebrated on June 1 and is formally known as "the June 1 International Children's Day" (Simplified Chinese: 六一国际儿童节; pinyin: liù yī guó jì ér tóng jié). When the People's Republic of China was first established in 1949, the State Council (Cabinet) designated a half-day holiday for all primary schools on June 1. This was later made into a full day's break in 1956 with The Announcement by the State Council to make June 1 Children's Day a One-Day Holiday. Schools usually hold activities such as camping trips or free movies on Children's Day to allow students to have fun, and children of civil servants might also receive small gifts from the government. Entrance ceremonies of the Young Pioneers of China are usually held on June 1 as well.

Hong Kong SAR

Children's Day(兒童節), is celebrated on 4 April before having been established in 1931 at the same time as the Republic of China.


In Colombia, Children's Day is celebrated in the second to last weekend of April .

Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, Children's Day is celebrated on September 9.


In Cuba, Children's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of July.

Czech Republic

In Czech Republic, Children's Day is celebrated on June 1.


In Ecuador, Children's Day (Día Del Niño) is celebrated on June 1; kids up to 12 years old receive presents from their parents, and schools let them have a special celebration.


In Egypt, Children's Day is celebrated every November 20 with festivals and games for children.

El Salvador

In El Salvador, Children's Day is celebrated on October 1. Parents play with their children on this day.


In Finland, Children's Day is known as Day of children's rights and is celebrated on 20 November and it's the same in the UK.

Former and current Communist and Socialist countries

In Russia, as well as other former Soviet Union states, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, other former or current communist states, Albania, Angola, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, East Germany, Laos, Republic of Macedonia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Tanzania and Yemen, Children's Day is celebrated on June 1.

This list includes 25 countries which regained independence from USSR, seceded from Yugoslavia Federation, as well as Czechoslovakia and Ethiopia after their respective splits.


Burning of "dirt and trash literature" at the 18th Elementary school in Berlin-Pankow (Buchholz), on the evening of International Children's Day, June 1st, 1955

In Germany, during the Cold War, Children's Day (Kindertag) was handled quite differently in West Germany and East Germany. While East Germany (GDR) celebrated International Children's Day (Internationaler Kindertag) on June 1, West Germany (FRG) celebrated Universal Children's Day (Weltkindertag) on September 20.

The customs of Children's Day were also significantly different in West and East Germany. In East Germany, the holiday was introduced in 1950, and was from then held on a yearly basis for the children. On this day of the year, children would typically be congratulated and would receive presents from their parents and did special activities in school, such as field trips and the like.

In West Germany, Children's Day Universal Children's Day laid his momentum not on games and presents, but more on political efforts to strengthen children's rights.

After the reunification of East and West Germany occurred in 1990, Universal Children's Day has become official for whole Germany. This, however, was not accepted by large parts of the East German population. Most parents still celebrate Children's Day on the former date of June 1, and public events pertaining to Children's Day take place on September 20.


In Guatemala, Children's Day is celebrated on October 23.


In Honduras, Children's Day is celebrated on September 10.


In 1931, Children's Day started although then it was called Children's Week, but since 1950 it has only been a day, the last Sunday in May.


In 1900, Children's Day is celebrated on April 8. It took the place with Universal Children's Day on December 1.


In Indonesia, Children's Day is celebrated on July 23.


Nehru distributes sweets among children at Nongpoh, Meghalaya

In India, the Children's Day is celebrated on 14 November, the birthday of the country's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru, who was fondly called Chacha Nehru (Uncle Nehru) by the kids, emphasized the importance of giving love and affection to children, who he saw as the bright future of India.

Many functions are organized in schools, offices and other organizations. Most schools hold cultural performances on this day, run by the children themselves. Teachers also get involved, and may perform songs and dances for their students. The State and the Central governments also make it a point to showcase Children's films as part of Film festivals organized in many parts of the country on this date. All over the country, various cultural, social, institutions conduct competitions for children. Children's Day is seen as a day for the kids to engage in fun and frolic.


In Iran, Children's day is celebrated on 14th november (17 Mehr)


In Israel, Children's Day is celebrated on October 4.


Japan's Children's Day (子供の日 kodomo no hi?) is celebrated on May 5, a National Holiday since 1948. There is a long tradition, from the 8th century, to celebrate children's day twice a year; March 3 for girls and on May 5 for boys. On March 3, also known as the Doll Festival, Japanese people decorate their households with traditional Heian Period doll sets and plum blossom, and drink Amazake. On May 5, also known as 端午の節句 (tango-no sekku), they fly carp streamers outside, display Samurai dolls, and eat chimaki.

There were some who argued in 1948 that March 3 should also be a National Holiday.


Democratic People's Republic of Korea

North Korean Children's Day is celebrated on June 2 as the International Children's Day (국제 아동절). Before 1945, it was celebrated on May 1.

Republic of Korea

In South Korea, May 5 is officially recognized as Children's Day (어린이날). Parents often give presents to their children, as well as spend time with them. The children are taken on excursions to zoos, museums, and various venues of children-oriented entertainment.

The Children's Day at first gained attention from innovative Korean students and social leaders on the basis of the March 1st Movement to achieve the Korean independence from the Japanese colonialism. From Jinju, many people gathered to promote and to improve the social status of children and encourage adults to teach awareness of the deprived sovereignty. Since then, several groups of children and students studying in Tokyo agreed to designate May 1 as the day in 1922. The predominant figure, Bang Jeong Hwan (방정환) greatly contributed the enhancement of participation from the Korean intellectuals, while the Laborer's Day also tapped together and moved the day toward May 5. Bang Jeon Hwan first coined the modern Korean word for children, eorini (어린이), replacing the previous words aenom (애놈) and aesaekki (애새끼).[12] Until 1939, Japanese authorities based in Seoul oppressed the movement to stop the congregation of Korean social activists for the festival. After the independence,the intention for respecting children came to revive from 1946. The children's welfare law written on the constitution officially registered May 5 as Children's Day in 1961.


In Laos, Children's Day is celebrated on June 1.


In Malaysia, Children's Day is celebrated on the last Saturday of October annually. Primary schoolchildren normally go to school on the Friday before the event to celebrate Children's Day. The schools that are involved would also organise numerous activities for their pupils.


Children's Day is celebrated on April 30. It is also known as "El Día Del Niño". And in some schools they give the day free or let the kids wear shorts and a colored shirt.


In Mongolia, the International Children's Day is celebrated on June 1. It is also known as "Эх үрсийн баяр".


Children's Day is celebrated on May 27 in Nigeria. It is a public holiday for Primary and Secondary school children. Depending on the state, a group of children are selected to march。


In Nicaragua the International Children's Day is celebrated on June 1.


In Islamic Republic of Pakistan, (in Arabic: يوم الطفل پاکِستان‎) Children's Day is celebrated twice a day, every day observed by UNICEF [13] and Ministry of Education.


In Panama, Children's Day or Kid's Day was formerly held on November 1, but was changed by Vivian Fernandez de Torrijos, the wife of President Martin Torrijos (2004–2009), to the third Sunday of July.[14]


In Paraguay, Children's Day is celebrated on August 16, day of the infamous Battle of Acosta Ñu, where 20,000 thousand men of the Brazilian Army crushed a Paraguayan battle made up of 3,500 children ages six to fifteen - even though Paraguay had been already completely defeated (see more in War of the Triple Alliance). Children's Day is a national holiday, used to remember the atrocities the Brazilians committed during the five-year war.


According to Peruvian law in Peru, Children's Day (Día del Niño Peruano (Ley Nº 27666) , literally Peruvian Children's Day (Law Nº 27666)) is celebrated every third Sunday of August. On this day of the year, Peruvian children would typically be congratulated and would receive presents from their parents. Since it's celebrated on Sunday all special activities in school, such as field trips and the like are done the previous Friday. All major stores offer special discounts on toys, appliances, electronics, clothes, etc.


In Poland, Children's Day (Dzień Dziecka) is celebrated on June 1. The International Children's Day was introduced in Poland in 1952. It coincides with the beginning of summer and it is usually treated as a holiday, as it takes place near the end of the school year. Schools usually organize special activities for the day of the celebration, and the first week of June is a time of festivities organized in parks and entertainment centers for children. Parents usually buy small gifts for their children.

Portugal and former colonies

In Portugal (and also at some of its former colonies such as Guinea-Bissau, Macau, Cape Verde, East Timor, Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe), Children's Day is celebrated on June 1.


In Romania, Children's Day (Romanian: “Ziua Copilului”) is celebrated on June 1. On that day, children have free entrance to some museums, zoos etc. Various events are also organized.

Russian Federation

In Russia, Children's Day is celebrated on June 1.


Traditionally, October 1 is the day which Singapore officially celebrates Children's Day, a similar event celebrated every year is Youth Day which is celebrated on the first Sunday of July every year. Kindergarten and primary school children in Singapore do not have to attend school on this day. From 2011, Children's Day will be celebrated on the first Friday of October. This also applies to teacher's day in September.

South Africa

In South Africa, Children's Day is celebrated on the first Saturday of November.[15]

South Sudan

In South Sudan, Children's Day is celebrated on December 23, the birthday of South Sudan's "greatest child" according to tribal mythology.


In Slovakia, the day is called International Children's Day (Medzinárodný deň detí) and is celebrated on June 1. Children get a free entrance to some attractions like zoos.[citation needed].


In Spain, this date is celebrated on the 2nd Sunday of May, and it's called "Día del niño"

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, Children's Day is celebrated on October 1.


In Sudan, Children's Day is celebrated on December 23, the birthday of North Sudan's "greatest child" according to tribal mythology.


In Suriname, Children's Day is celebrated on December 5. It was known as "Sinterklaas" before. (Suriname was a Dutch colony and once it became independent of the Netherlands, "Sinterklaas", which is a Dutch Christmas celebration, was removed.)


Children's Day (Rep. of China)
Traditional Chinese 婦女節、兒童節合併假期
Simplified Chinese 妇女节、儿童节合并假期

The Republic of China (Taiwan) designated April 4 as Children's Day (Chinese: 兒童節), pursuant to Article 5 of the Order to Implement Commemoration Days and Holidays.[16] The holiday dates back to 1931 and since then schools often hold special activities in order to celebrate the occasion. Because of pressure from parents that demanded to accompany their children in the celebration, the ROC government celebrated Women's Day together with Children's Day on April 4, 1991. Since then, April 4 has been known as "The Combined Holidays of Women's Day and Children's Day" (Chinese: 婦女節、兒童節合併假期). The Legislative Yuan has announced that this holiday will be a national holiday of the Republic of China starting in 2011.[17]


Thailand National Children's Day (Thai: วันเด็กแห่งชาติ) is celebrated on the second Saturday in January. Many organizations from both government and commercial sectors have celebration activities for children. Children can enter zoos or ride buses for free.

The Prime Minister usually gives each Children's Day a theme that can be summarized by its motto.

Many Government offices are open to children and their family; this includes the Government House, the Parliament House Complex and various Military installations. These events may include a guided tour and an exhibition. A notable example is the guided tour at the Government House, where children have an opportunity to view the Prime Minister's office and sit at the bureau. The Royal Thai Air Force usually invites children to go and explore the aircraft.

Trinidad and Tobago International Men's Day on 19 November followed by Universal Children's Day on 20 November form a 48 hour celebration of men and children respectively.[18]


Children's Day in Tunisia is celebrated on March 21 every year. It is a day in which Tunisians observe the rights of children and remind themselves that children are the future builders and developers of the country and the world.


Official discourse in Turkey argues that Children's Day had its origin in Turkey. The Grand National Assembly of Turkey was established on 1920, April 23, and to commemorate the event, April 23 was proclaimed a national holiday in 1921. (The founder of The Republic of Turkey,Atatürk, has given this day to the children.) Since 1927[19] it has also become Children's Day (Turkish: Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı, literally "The Holiday of National Sovereignty and Children"), an official holiday dedicated to the children of Turkey and the world. The day is celebrated annually in Turkey with spectacular activities.

In addition to holding many domestic celebratory events such as stadium performances, Turkey also houses Children's Day Festival, where groups of children from other countries are invited to participate in the festivities while staying at Turkish families' homes. In some countries, International Children's Festivals are celebrated with children's of different ethnicities such as Italy.


Children's Day (Ukrainian: День захисту дітей, literally "day of child's protection") is celebrated in Ukraine on June 1. It was introduced in Ukraine in 2009.[citation needed]

United States of America

Children's Day observations in the United States predate both Mother's and Father's Day, though a permanent annual single Children's Day observation is not made at the national level.

In 1856, Rev. Charles H. Leonard, D.D., then pastor of the First Universalist Church of Chelsea, Mass., set apart a Sunday for the dedication of children to the Christian life, and for the re-dedication of parents and guardians to bringing-up their children in Christian nurture. This service was first observed the second Sunday in June.[20]

The Universalist Convention at Baltimore in September 1867, passed a resolution commending churches to set apart one Sunday in each year as Children's Day.[21]

The Methodist Episcopal Church at the Methodist Conference of 1868 recommended that second Sunday in June be annually observed as Children's Day.[21]

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in 1883 designated "the second Sabbath in June as Children's Day."[22]

Also in 1883, the National Council of Congregational Churches and nearly all the state bodies of that denomination in the United States passed resolutions commending the observance of the day. About this time many other denominations adopted similar recommendations.[21]

Chase's Calendar of Events cites Children's Sunday and notes that The Commonwealth of Massachusetts issues an annual proclamation for the second Sunday in June.[23]

Numerous churches and denominations currently observe the second Sunday in June including the African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.

Children & Youth Day in Hawaii started in 1994 when the Hawaii Legislature became the first to pass a law to recognize the first Sunday in October as "Children's Day". In 1997, the Legislature passed another landmark law designating the entire month of October as "Children and Youth Month".

Children's Day was proclaimed by President Bill Clinton to be held on October 11, 1998,[24] in response to a letter written by a six year old boy inquiring if he would make a Children's Day for him. "National Child's Day" was proclaimed by President George W. Bush as June 3, 2001 and in subsequent years on the first Sunday in June.[25] Nowhere in any of the proclamations did the President refer to the United Nations or the UN Resolution about Universal Child Day.

Since 2009, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has issued proclamations proclaiming the second Sunday in June as Children's Day as had the previous governor in 2007 and 2008. The mayors of Aurora and Batavia, Illinois, also have issued proclamations.[26] Children's day for calendar year 2011 was observed on June 12. It's next observance is on June 10, 2012.


Children's Day in Uruguay is officially on January 6 but informally that date is known by Uruguayans as Epiphany, and one Sunday in August is commercially Children's Day. Usually parents and perhaps other relatives give their children presents on January 6 as well as in August. Sometimes adults also receive presents on January 6 but never in the Children's Day celebrated in August.


In Vanuatu, Children's Day is celebrated on the 24th of July. "Stop violence against children", and "Give a child the chance to express their opinion today". After the march there are speeches and activities organized by schools, including a dance. Then, after midday, children return home to spend time with their parents for the rest of the day. Children's Day is a public holiday, set up following a recommendation of the Committee on the Rights of the Child. A group of people in the United Nations monitor and protect children's rights. A committee, with both adult and child members, organizes activities. In the past, a committee of adults has chosen the theme – but in the future children may help choose it.

Children's Day originally took place only in the capital of Vanuatu, but it has now been extended to all 6 provinces. Schools, churches, local governments of the provinces and other local organizations all organize activities. Save the Children supports one Children's Day activity in each province, selecting it from the many requests they receive for support. In 2008, one of the activities supported by Save the Children was a sports day between many different schools.

Parents and caretakers have been supportive of Children's Day activities. Many parents come to activities with children. For example, in one province, children and parents from 5 different schools came together for a shared lunch. Some parents give their children presents for Children's Day – however, Save the Children try to spread the message that it doesn't matter if a parent can't afford to buy their child a present, as the real aim of Children's Day is for parents and children to spend the day together, and work together to reconcile their problems.


In Venezuela, Children's Day is celebrated the third Sunday of July.


In Vietnam, Children's Day is celebrated on June 1 as ICD and on the full moon of the 8th lunar month during the Mid-Autumn Festival.


In Zambia, Children's Day celebrates on April 24 before Universal Children's Day on December 25 from Zambia lighting.

See also


  1. ^ United Nations Universal Children's Day
  2. ^ "International Children's Day Flag". Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  3. ^ "June 1 International Children's Day". Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  4. ^ "1 June – International Children's Day". Qatar Living. 1920-04-23. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  5. ^ International Men's Day and Universal Children's Day, Forbes
  6. ^ International Men's Day Global Website and Archive
  7. ^ Día del niño, en el sitio del Ministerio de Educación de Argentina.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Jung (정), Im-jo (임조). 어린이에게 꿈과 희망을 준 이야기꾼 방정환. Retrieved 2011-08-26. "더불어 방정환 선생님은 ‘애놈’ ‘애새끼’ ‘자식 놈’이라 불리던 아이들에게 ‘어린이’라는 아름다운 말을 선물했습니다." 
  13. ^
  14. ^ Cambian celebración del Día del Niño
  15. ^
  16. ^ 紀念日及節日實施辦法
  17. ^ "Children's Day to be public holiday starting in 2011: premier". The China Post. 2010-04-01. Retrieved 2010-04-01. ]
  18. ^ International Men's Day
  19. ^ Veysi Akın (1997), "23 Nisan Millî Hâkimiyet ve Çocuk Bayramı'nın Tarihçesi" (History of National Sovereignity and April 23 Children Day). PAÜ Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi 3. sayı (Pamukkale Üniversitesi): s. 91
  20. ^ McFarland, John T. (1915). "Children's Day". The Encyclopedia of Sunday School and Religious Education. 1. New York: Thomas Nelson & Sons. pp. 237.,M1. Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  21. ^ a b c McFarland, The Encyclopedia of Sunday School and Religious Education, vol.1, p. 238.
  22. ^ Moorehead, James H. (Spring/Summer 2005). "Our Documentary History: Children's Sunday in the Presbyterian Church". The Journal of Presbyterian History 83 (1): 85. 
  23. ^ The General Laws of Massachusetts
  24. ^ National Children's Day, 2000, October 7, 2000. National Archives and Records Administration
  25. ^ The White House Proclamation by the President of the United States of America, 2001
  26. ^ National Children's Day website

External links

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