Children’s Day

Children’s Day is a holiday that’s observed by many different countries all over the world on various dates throughout the year. It was first celebrated in Turkey on April 23, 1920, and an international holiday called International Children’s Day was proclaimed during the World Conference on Child Welfare in Geneva in 1925. In many countries, the holiday has been celebrated on the first of June since 1950. In the United States, the date of this holiday has changed over time. During the administrations of U.S Presidents George H.W Bush and Bill Clinton, the holiday was celebrated on the 8th of October. In 1993, it was briefly celebrated on November 21 in the U.S. It is now currently celebrated on the second Sunday in June in the U.S. 

The History Of Children’s Day

If you really want to trace back the history of Children’s Day, you have to go back over 164-years ago. This is when Reverend Dr. Charles Leonard began children’s day on the Second Sunday in June of 1857 in Chelsea, Massachusetts. It involved a special serviced dedicated to addressing the needs of children. This day was initially Rose Day, and then it became known as Flower Day. Eventually, it would be called the name by which it’s called today, Children’s Day.

As the years went by, Children’s Day began to be celebrated by other people around the world. It was celebrated in Turkey starting in 1920, and it was made a national holiday in 1929. In 1954, the United Nations established this as a worldwide holiday by establishing Universal Children’s Day. In 1959, the U.S adopted an extended form of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. 

In the mid-1990s, U.S President Bill Clinton proclaimed October 8th as Children’s Day. In 2001, the U.S President declared that the first Sunday in June by called National Children’s Day. As such, this is a holiday that actually can be observed on October 8, the second Sunday in June, or on November 20th. But those aren’t the only days on which this holiday is celebrated in some countries. For example, it’s celebrated on the last Sunday in May in Hungary, and in Norway, it’s celebrated on May 17th. In Austria and Germany, it’s celebrated on September 20th. 

Declaration of the Rights of the Child

On November 20, 1959, the UN General Assembly adopted the  Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Below are some of the bullet points taken from that document:

  • Every child must be given what they need for normal development.
  • If the child is hungry, they must be fed. If the child is sick, they must be nursed. 
  • If the child is a delinquent, they must be reclaimed. If the child is an orphan, they must be sheltered.
  • Children must be first to receive relief in times of distress.
  • The child must be protected against all forms of exploitation.

Observing Children’s Day

Children’s Day can be observed by spending time with your children and grandchildren. It’s a good time to start new traditions with them, to tell them stories about the family’s history, and to teach them a new life skill they can take forward in life. It’s also a good time to use the hashtag #ChildrensDay to spread the word about this holiday. 

Where is Children’s Day celebrated?

This year (2021):
Mexico (Apr 30) - Vanuatu (Jul 24) - Armenia (Jun 1) - China (Jun 1) - Japan (May 5) - Laos (Jun 1) - South korea (May 5) - Taiwan (Apr 4) - Romania (Jun 1) - Cabo verde (Jun 1) - Nigeria (May 27) Show all 11 locations
Next year (2022):
Mexico (Apr 30) - Vanuatu (Jul 24) - Armenia (Jun 1) - China (Jun 1) - Japan (May 5) - Laos (Jun 1) - South korea (May 5) - Taiwan (Apr 4) - Romania (Jun 1) - Cabo verde (Jun 1) - Nigeria (May 27) Show all 11 locations
Last year (2020):
Mexico (Apr 30) - Armenia (Jun 1) - South korea (May 5) - Vanuatu (Jul 24) - China (Jun 1) - Japan (May 5) - Laos (Jun 1) - Taiwan (Apr 4) - Cabo verde (Jun 1) - Nigeria (May 27) - Romania (Jun 1) Show all 11 locations