On Children’s Day kids are the center of attention. The goal of Children’s Day is to draw public interest to the needs and rights of children. The terminology is a little confusing, since “International Children’s Day” and “Universal Children’s Day” are not the same, even though they have the same purpose.
International Children’s Day, which is observed on June 1, had its origin at the Geneva World Conference for the Well-being of Children in August 1925. For example, the majority of (former) communist countries, such as China and many Eastern European countries, celebrate Children’s Day on June 1. Since this was also the date when Children’s Day was observed in the former East Germany before Germany’s reunification, many regions in Germany have maintained this tradition.
Universal Children’s Day was established in September 1954 by the United Nations and its Children’s Fund UNICEF. This day is observed in 145 countries, with dates varying from country to country. In Germany and Austria September 20 is Universal Children’s Day. Thus there are two Children’s Days in Germany—June 1 and September 20.
Our children deserve to be celebrated. In countries like Germany, however, Children’s Day plays only a minor role compared to Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, for example. Many people aren’t even aware of the fact that such a day exists. But that varies from country to country.
In most countries, Children’s Day offers many great activities and events for kids. Children’s parties, theater performances, concerts, swap meets, hands-on activities and workshops, free or reduced tickets to zoos, water parks or other amusement parks—there’s a lot to do and see for kids. Many stores also have special Children’s Day discounts.
Hungary used to have a Children’s Week as of 1931. Since 1950 it has been a Children’s Day, which is observed on the last Sunday of May. This year it’s May 25, 2014. Children even receive gifts for Children’s Day in Hungary. But just as anywhere else, the most important thing is that the family gets together: kids, parents, grandparents, even godparents. My colleague Éva from Hungary looks back and says,
“I remember that I went to the circus with my parents on Children’s Day. After the show I was allowed to pet the animals and even ride an elephant. I loved the merry-go-rounds; and it was always fun to be with so many kids. We got candy and toys as gifts and many of our wishes came true. For us kids this was always a very special day.”
If you’re still looking for gift ideas for Children’s Day, first earrings may be a nice way to make a wish come true. Many STUDEX partners offer gift certificates for ear piercing.
In Russia Children’s Day is celebrated on June 1 with various events for kids, similarly to Germany. However, there is much greater awareness of this day in the public in Russia. Streets and squares are decorated with large posters and banners to draw attention to Children’s Day and special events for kids. My colleague Tatyana from Russia remembers,
“When I was a child, there were concerts at our kindergarten and later at school in which all children participated. Our parents were always invited, of course, and they were our biggest fans.”
STUDEX supports various children’s projects—locally as well as internationally. For example, we help youth sports clubs in Germany, facilities like kindergartens and orphanages in several countries, or victims of flooding in India. These projects are important opportunities for us to give back.
Header image: © Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash; doll: © ChristArt/Fotolia; girl: © STUDEX of Europe GmbH