Celebrating Children Worldwide
Over fifty years ago, country representatives gathered at the UN General Assembly decided to establish a Universal Children’s Day to celebrate the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. The Declaration outlines children’s rights, including the right to life, to health, to education and to play, as well as the right to family life, to be protected from violence, to not be discriminated, and to have their views heard. The United Nations celebrates Universal Children’s Day every 20 November.
This year on Children’s Day, UNICEF is asking for a worldwide children’s takeover! Corporate partners are allowing children to take over as their CEOs for the day. This will happen across government, businesses and sports teams. EWEC partners can support by allowing children to “take over” their social and digital media channels.
In addition to the takeover, there are also gyms sponsoring special workout classes in order to raise money for clean water pumps in areas where they are needed most. Join #WorkoutForWater on 18 November in support of children and mothers around the world in need of clean water!
Also, be sure to follow UNICEF on Facebook for more Children’s Day surprises.
Children’s Day around the World
Around the world, children are celebrated in different ways and sometimes on different days.
In Japan, Children’s Day, or Kodomo no Hi, is celebrated on 5 May every year. Originally, May 5th was a day to celebrate boys and May 3rd was used to celebrate girls. Girls would receive dolls passed down from their great-grandmothers, to their grandmothers, to their mothers, and then to them! This special tradition gave Girls’ Day the name, Hinamatsuri or “Dolls’ Day.” Today, all children are celebrated on one day in the country, where they enjoy special treats and compete in a kids Olympics.
In Samoa, Children’s Day is not only a day to celebrate children; it also is a religious holiday, often referred to as “White Sunday.” The Samoan people celebrate childhood on the second Sunday of October in their church services and the children dress in all white and perform dances. They also receive small gifts and are privileged to be served first at meals.
On 23 April of each year, the people of Turkey celebrate “National Sovereignty and Children’s day.” Among the week-long ceremonies celebrating this day, children also replace state officials in office for the day! These children can sign executive orders which relate to their education, as well as those relating to environmental issues. There is also an assembly, held by the Turkish children, which covers issues they think should be brought up to discussion.