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Children's Day Around the World


In India, Children's Day is celebrated on November 14 every year. This date marks the birth anniversary of independent India's first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Children's Day is celebrated on this day in recognition of his lifelong fondness and work for children. He always regarded all children with affection and love. Children also loved him very much and called him Chacha Nehru.

Different countries celebrate Children's Day on different days. International Children's Day is celebrated on June 1 and Universal Children始s Day is on November 20, but the main essence of these days is to honour children and minors.

International Children's Day originated in Turkey on April 23, 1920 and later in the World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland in 1925. It is not clear as to why June 1 was chosen as International Children始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 happened to be on June 1 that year and also coincided with the conference in Geneva.

Children's Day was first celebrated worldwide in October 1955, under the sponsorship of the International Union for Child Welfare in Geneva. The idea of a Universal Children's Day was mooted by Rubab Mansoor and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954.

Universal Children's Day was first proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954. It was established to encourage all countries to institute a day to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children and to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world始s children. It was also chosen as the day to celebrate childhood.


Let's take a look at Children's Day celebrations across the world.

In Argentina, Children's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of August and is known as Dia del Nino. 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 changed to the second Sunday of August.


Australia celebrates Children's Day on the first Sunday in July every year. Children's Day is a registered trademark there.


During the Cold War, Children's Day (Kindertag) was handled quite differently in West Germany and East Germany. It was held on different dates in these two states. East Germany celebrated Children's Day on June 1 while West Germany celebrated it on September 20. The official names of Children's Day were also different. In East Germany, it was known as International Children's Day (Internationaler Kindertag), whereas in West Germany it was called world Children's Day (Weltkindertag). The customs of Children's Day were also significantly different in East and West Germany. In East Germany, the holiday was introduced in 1950 and was held on a yearly basis from then on. On this day of the year, children would typically be congratulated and would receive presents from their parents and participate in special activities in school, such as field trips and the like. In West Germany, Children's Day did not have such meaning to the children and was even mostly unknown to many people. After the reunification of East and West Germany occurred in 1990, the date and name of the event used in the West have become the official ones for the former East as well. This however was not accepted by large parts of the former East German population. Most parents still celebrate Children's Day on the former date, June 1, and public events pertaining to Children's Day take place on the old date.


In Bangladesh, Children's Day has not been celebrated in a manner that makes the community realise the importance of children's rights. However, on November 20 the Youth Change Makers (YCM) informs people of Children's Day by holding huge competitions and fashion shows for children, although it is not considered as a holiday. From 1996 to 2000, the Government of Bangladesh observed national Children's Day on the birthday of the father of the nation, Bangabandhu Shekh Mujibur Rahman on March 20. However due to political pressure this celebration was stopped and the country only observed Universal Children's Day, which was recognised by UNICEF.


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


In Central Africa, namely Congo, Congo DR, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Chad, Central African Republic, Sao Tome and Principe, Children始s Day is celebrated on December 25.


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. 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. Schools usually hold activities such as camping trips or free movies on Children's Day to allow students to have fun. Children of civil servants might also receive small gifts from the government.


In Ecuador, Children's Day (Dia Del Nino) is celebrated on June 1. Kids up to 12 years of age receive presents from their parents and schools let them have a special celebration.


Egypt celebrates every November 20 with festivals and games for children.


In Hungary, in 1931, Children's Day started to be celebrated as Children's Week, but since 1950 it has only been a day - the last Sunday in May. International Children's Day is celebrated on the first Monday of October.


In Japan, Children's Day (Kodomo no Hi) is a national holiday celebrated on May 5. The date was the date of the traditional Tango no Sekku festival, originally commonly known as Boys' Day, whereas Girls' Day was celebrated separately on March 3. The holidays were merged in 1948. Prime Minister Tawashima of Japan says that children need a chance to be heard and respected, not spanked and told to be seen not heard.


North Korean Children's Day is celebrated on June 2. Before 1945 it was celebrated on May 1,  but in 1945, it was changed to its current date. In South Korea, May 5 is officially recognized as Children's Day. Parents give presents to their children as well as spend time with them. The children are taken on excursions to zoos and museums. It was originally celebrated on May 1, but was later moved to May 5. Bang Jeong Hwan, a children's author, was instrumental in creating Children's Day in Korea.


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


Thailand celebrates National Children's Day on the second Saturday in January. Many organisations from both the government and commercial sector conduct activities for children. Children can enter zoos or use buses for free. Traditionally, Thailand's PM also gives a unique motto for children on this day. On Children's Day, government houses are open for children. Children come and sit in the seats of the Prime Minister and also in the conference room of the parliament. The military also has a show of military equipment, vehicles and aircrafts for children.


In Sri Lanka, Universal Children's Day is celebrated on the first Sunday in Easter. It is a custom to take children somewhere special on this day. In schools, children are given sweets and presents, while at home, various delicacies are made and presents are given. Some children's parks will be free for children on October 1 in Sri Lanka.


In Paraguay, Children's Day is celebrated on August 16, the day of the infamous Battle of Acosta Nu, where 20,000 thousand men of the Brazilian Army crushed a Paraguayan battalion made up of 3,500 children aged six to 15, even though Paraguay had already been completely defeated. It's a national holiday used to remember the atrocities the Brazilians committed during the five-year war.


Children's Day (Dzien Dziecka, literally 'child's day') is celebrated in Poland on June 1. 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 organise special activities for the day of the celebration and the first week of June is a time of festivities organised in parks and entertainment centres for children. Parents usually buy small gifts for their children on this day.


Children始s Day is celebrated on May 27 in Nigeria. It is a public holiday for primary and secondary schoolchildren. On this day, a handful of children are selected to represent their schools in a march-past for state officials.


In Pakistan, Children's Day is celebrated on November 20. There is no holiday on this day but it is observed by NGOs working on child rights. The electronic media in Pakistan broadcast special programmes on this occasion. All the newspapers publish informative articles and features related to children on this day.


Singapore officially celebrates Children's Day on October 1. A similar event celebrated every year is Youth Day which is celebrated on the first Sunday of July each year. Children in Singapore do not have to attend school on this day.


In Slovakia, International Children's Day is celebrated on June 1. Children get free entrance to zoos and other attractions on this day.


In Trinidad, Universal Children's Day is celebrated on the first Monday in October. It is a day they observe the rights of children and remember that children are blessings sent from God.

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