Children’s Day

A little late, but I decided to write about the holiday, which, in fact, we all have the right to celebrate until the end of our days, because we will always be somebody’s children.

Children’s Day – holiday background
It is difficult to clearly determine when Children’s Day was celebrated for the first time. It is believed that the holiday’s history dates back to 1949. Children’s Day was invented by the World Federation of Democratic Women. The purpose of introducing such a holiday was to make the public aware of the importance of protecting children from the atrocities of war, hunger and other harms.

Children’s Day is not always celebrated on June 1.
Although Children’s Day is celebrated internationally, not every country falls on the same date. We celebrate it in Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, China and Portugal on June 1. In South Korea, children and parents celebrate it on May 5. Children celebrate their holiday in Turkey on April 23, it’s also Independence Day. In France, India, Sweden, Spain and Canada, Children’s Day is November 20 and it is this day that Unicef ​​celebrates as Children’s Day. Other countries celebrate Children’s Day on individual dates.

In Poland, Children’s Day is simply a day when parents focus all their attention on the youngest and try to give them as much pleasure as possible. Toddlers are often greeted with a festive, sweet breakfast and get presents and sweets. During the day, children are often taken to the zoo, park or festival, or in the event of bad weather, to the cinema or playroom. Some even organize parties to which other children are invited.

The most interesting customs related to Children’s Day can be found in Japan. There are actually two holidays – separate for boys and separate for girls. Boys have their day on May 5 – it is much more celebrated than girls’ day, which falls on March 3.
On May 5, Japanese boys spend time with their fathers. They make paper toys together. They also sew carp from even fabrics, each of them is to symbolize one family member. The carp are called Koinobori or Satsuki-Nobori. The father is a black carp, the mother is a red carp, the blue symbolizes the son. The number of blue carp indicates the number of male descendants in a given family. The strength of these fish is associated with boys.
On March 5, Japanese girls, together with their parents, make dolls from various materials and dress them in traditional Japanese clothes. This day is also a Puppet Festival.

India celebrates the birthday of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India to establish Children’s Day. In connection with the holiday, children do not have to put on school uniforms and can come dressed in colorful. In addition to the outfit chosen by the child, a rose is attached, which the child can pass on.
In China, children are free from school on this day, and people under the age of 14 can even count on a gift from the authorities.
In Paraguay, Children’s Day commemorates 3,500 children, aged 6 to 15, who died bravely fighting to defend their country against 20,000 soldiers wanting to occupy Paraguay.

As you can see, not only the date, but also the way this celebration is celebrated in various countries around the world. For some it is one of the happiest days of the year, for others it is a “black” day when they mourn their tragically dead children. Maybe we should all start acting like in the Netherlands? There is no Children’s Day in the Netherlands, because the entire Dutch community assumes that such a day as Children’s Day, all children should celebrate every day.

Aleksandra Lelenthal
Volunteer at Teatro Metaphora – Associação de Amigos das Artes
European Solidarity Corps
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