Today is children’s day in Leipzig. Emila went into kindergarten early because they are having a special breakfast and celebrations throughout the day. Sounds like a good deal to me!
Technically, as a reunited Germany, Children’s Day is acknowledged on September 20th and public events still take place on that day. But privately most parents in the East still see June 1st as the day to celebrate.
In divided times, the West would use the day to emphasize children’s rights and political movements while the Communist East would use it as a day for celebrating their children. Presents and field trips were common.
Apparently children’s day is acknowledge all around the world though it means different things in different places. Some use it as a platform for children’s rights and protection against violence. Other’s as a time to celebrate with presents, parties and parades.
Here are some customs in a few different countries.
- Pakistan– day of remembrance for the 132 children massacred at the Army Public School Peshawar by terrorists in 2014.
- Turkey– it’s used as a day where children from other countries come to celebrate and stay in homes of Turkish families.
- Bulgaria– it used to be that drivers would drive with their headlights on all day as a symbol of extra vigilance for children’s safety. Now that is a law for every day.
- Singapore– kids get the day off of school.
- China- schools give camping trips, free movies or performances. Parents are given half days to spend more time with their kids.
- Tunisia– it’s a day for children’s rights and to remember that children are the future.
- Nigeria– children march in parades while media outlets highlight the plight of children and what certain organizations are doing to make it better.
- Taiwan– it’s combined with Women’s Day since so many parents wanted to join in the celebrations.
- Japan– celebrate happiness of all children and express gratitude toward mothers.
- Slovakia– kids have free access to the zoo on that day.
- Paraguay– a day to remember the 5 year war and the Battle of Acosta Ñu where 3,500 children faced 20,000 men from the Triple Alliance to allow their president to escape.
- Hungary– from 1931 to 1950 it used to be a whole week of celebration.
The most common recognized day is June 1st with November 20th being the second and UN official.
But I never really heard about it in the States. So I looked it up and we do have one. Or many different days; it hasn’t really been set in stone. It started in the 1800’s as a Christian holiday to remember the importance of dedicating children to Christ. Since then it’s changed into a national holiday but it’s more of an observed day then one of celebration. Maybe we should change that.
For now at least, I’ll hug my kids tighter today.