International Children’s Day: History, Significance and Celebration Around the World

International Children's Day is a public holiday annually observed in many countries on June 1st. This year, in 2021, we are gonna celebrate International Children's Day on Tuesday.

International Children's Day: History

The origin of this holiday goes back to 1925 when representatives from different countries met in Geneva, Switzerland to convene the first "World Conference for the Wellbeing of Children".

After the conference, some governments around the world designated a day as Children's Day to highlight children's issues. There was no specific date recommended, so countries used whatever date was most relevant to their culture, Office Holiday cites.

The date of June 1st is used by many ex-Soviet countries as 'The International Day for Protection of Children' was established on 1 June 1950 following the Women's International Democratic Federation's congress in Moscow that took place in 1949.

With the creation of World Children's Day, UN member states recognized children, regardless of race, colour, sex, religion and national or social origin, the right to affection, love, understanding, adequate food, medical care, free education, protection against all forms of exploitation and growing in a climate of universal peace and brotherhood.

Many countries have established a Children's Day but this is commonly not observed as a public holiday. For instance, some countries observe Children's' Day on November 20th as Universal Children’s Day. This day was established by the United Nations in 1954 and aims to promote the welfare of children around the world.

International Children's Day: Significance

Since 1990, International Children's Day also marks the anniversary of the date that the UN General Assembly adopted both the Declaration and the Convention on children's rights.

The International Children's Da, as suggested by its name, is a festival for children. As children are the future of mankind, the event sends adults a reminder about taking better care and protection towards their beloved kids.

International Children’s Day: History, Significance and Celebration Around the World
Photo: Vents Magazine

Mothers and fathers, teachers, nurses and doctors, government leaders and civil society activists, religious and community elders, corporate moguls and media professionals, as well as young people and children themselves, can play an important part in making World Children's Day relevant for their societies, communities, and nations.

International Children's Day offers each of us an inspirational entry-point to advocate, promote and celebrate children's rights, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for children.

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How is Children's Day celebrated in different countries?

Around a quarter of the world’s population celebrates Children’s Day on the 1st of June. According to the official UN data, there are currently around 2.6 billion minors in the world, which accounts for around 30% population. The official classification defines this population group as «children».

Nevertheless, the problems which generation Z often faces, very often can be hardly called «child» problems as they include the inaccessibility of education, early sexual initiation, psychological violence in families… On the first day of summer, the attention to protecting the interests of children is drawn all across the world, and new emerging issues are examined under a magnifying glass.

International Children’s Day: History, Significance and Celebration Around the World
Photo: Find My Kids

USA

Children’s Day celebration initially takes its roots from a special day to baptize children in the church in 1856, which was originally named Rose Day. Almost a century and a half later, in 1995, President Clinton proclaimed National Children’s Day as October 8th. This initiative was passed onto the next president. when in 2001, George Bush declared the first Sunday of June as National Child’s Day. However, today, this celebration has shifted by a week, to the second Sunday of June.

Activists that participate in the organization of Children’s day, put an emphasis on the fact that the principles acquired and the good deeds initiated on this day, should extend to the remaining 364 days of the year. According to the official Children’s day US website, the main motto of it is «Celebrate wherever you are, do something wonderful», which is a global encouragement for acceptance, mutual help and kindness. Thus, this day is fully dedicated to teaching good and humane actions that would benefit children, and learning to set and achieve positive goals in the long term.

The usual activities on this day in the US are similar to the ones held around the globe: they include charity events, children shows and concerts, choirs and drummers – all highlighting an openness and a multicultural approach.

What is also very important on that day, is addressing the sustainability topic: children are probably the most important and the most appropriate segment of the world’s population for environmental discourse, as they represent the future generation. Numerous initiatives are taken upon on Children’s day, in order to educate future adults on how to take better care of the planet, today and in the years to come, reported Find My Kids.

India

Children’s day was celebrated on 20th November each year before 1964, a date recognised by the United Nations. After the demise of our beloved Chacha Nehru, his birth date was declared as Children’s day in India. On this day, schools and colleges organise various programmes like plays, competitions, cultural events etc., and sweets, books, stationary and other gifts are distributed to children. Also, November 20 is celebrated as the Universal Children’s Day, as declared by the United Nations.

The day is a reminder that every child deserves education, nurturing and the best of everything. They are the building blocks of the nation and hence, the future of the nation depends how well they are brought up. To those who are now an adult, keep the kid inside you alive!

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Germany

In Germany, Children's Day is known as "Kindertag" and is celebrated on June 1 of every year. The holiday began to be celebrated in the country from 1950 (in the German Democratic Republic), and from then on, it became a yearly highlight for the German children. On this day, German children traditionally receive congratulations and presents from their parents. It is also the time when they perform special activities in school, such as field trips and the like. However, in many parts of the country, Children's Day is celebrated on September 20, the date on which the day was first observed, as cited by Kids Gen.

International Children’s Day: History, Significance and Celebration Around the World
Photo: Event View

Poland

Poland celebrates the International Children's Day. In Poland, Children's Day is known as "Dzien Dziecka" (meaning "child's day") and is celebrated on June 1. It was in 1952 when the "International Children's Day" was first introduced in Poland. Children's Day is not a holiday in Poland, but as the occassion coincides with the beginning of summer which is about the end of the school year in the country, it is usually a holiday for children. It is a time when parents usually buy small gifts for their children. The first week of June is a time of festivities organized in parks and entertainment centers for children. Schools usually organize special activities for children for the occassion.

International Children’s Day: History, Significance and Celebration Around the World
Children's Day in India. Photo: Times Of India

India

In India, Children's Day is celebrated on November 14 every year. This date marks the birth anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India. Nehru was very fond of children and so, to honor him and acknowledge his lifelong passion and work for children, Children's day is celebrated on the 14th of every November. Children's Day is an occassion of great joy for Indian children, as cited by Times Of India. On the occassion, children of India usually get gifts and congratulations from their parents. Many schools allow students to attend their classes in coloured dresses. Special programmes are held by the children themselves and the principles hand over a rose to every child. Many schools hold activities such as camping trips or free movies on Children's Day to allow students to have fun.

Canada

In Canada, Children's Day is better known as "National Child Day" and is held on November 20th each year. It is also known as the Child Day Act, for the day began to be celebrated in the country when the Parliament of Canada passed the "Child Day Act" in 1993 to fulfill Canada's commitment to the United Nations General Assembly's recommendation to observe a Universal Children's Day. National Child Day is not a holiday in Canada.

International Children’s Day: History, Significance and Celebration Around the World
Children's day in UAE. Photo: Khaleej Times

Brazil

In Brazil, the Dia das Crianças falls on October 12th. It is also interesting to note that in this country, this celebration turns 100 years old in 2020! Brazilians have officially directed their attention towards the issues of children back in 1920 for the first time. The person who had initiated this celebration was the deputy of the federal assembly. In a few years, in 1924, the date of October 12th was officially approved.

Every country has particularities in the celebration of Children’s day. In Russia, the 1st of June marks the beginning of the summer break at schools and universities. In contrast, in Mexico, Children’s Day is celebrated on April 30th, when the school year is in full swing. Teachers and parents let their children out of the classroom early on this day.

In Chile, Children’s day is celebrated twice a year – on the first Wednesday of October and on the second Sunday of August.

In contrast, in Australia, the country has made the decision not to limit themselves to one day of such a celebration. The country has dedicated an entire week to praise children. The residents of the Philippines have taken it onto an even larger scale, having dedicated a whole month to children.

FOR MORE: Happy Children's Day: History, Meaning, Best Wishes & Quotes, Top Gifts, Celebration

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