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Children's Day

International Children's Day ~ Tango no Sekku ~ Palestinian Children's Day ~ International Day of the African Child  ~ TRT International April 23 Children's Festival ~ Universal Children's Day

International Children's Day Poster

International Children's Day Poster

Children's Day is recognized on various days in many nations to call attention to children's issues. The World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland, proclaimed June 1 to be International Children's Day in 1925. Many countries followed its lead, but others have selected their own days  to honor children.

Japanese Children's Day

Designated a national holiday by the Japanese government in 1948,
Children's Day is a day set aside to respect children's personalities and to celebrate their happiness. It takes place annually on May 5, the fifth day of the fifth month.

Tango no Sekku

Childrens Day in Japans was originally called Tango no Sekku

The day is also celebrated in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as the Duanwu Festival or Tuen Ng Festival (Cantonese), and in Korea as the Dano Festival (festival at the beginning of summer) and was for boys only. It has since become a celebration of children of both genders.

Prior to Children's Day, many Japanese families raise carp-shaped koinobori flags over their homes. The carp comes from a Chinese legend in which a carp swims upstream becomes a dragon. The carp subsequently represent strength and success in life. When the flags blow in the wind they appear to be swimming.

While most koinobori are flown from flagpoles, children sometimes carry smaller versions at the end of short sticks

In  Making Peg Dolls, Margaret Bloom offers a Japanese Children's Day scene in which two peg dolls in traditional kimono are carrying small, fluttering koinobori. This traditional song accompanies them:

Higher than the roof-tops are the koinobori
The Large carp is the father,
The smaller carp are children,
They are enjoying swimming in the sky.

Children's Day Peg Dolls
Children's Day Peg Dolls
Making Peg Dolls by Margaret Bloom

Around the World

Children's Days are recognized around the world, honoring and celebrating childhood.

International Day of the African Child occurs on June 16. Initiated by the Organisation of African Unity in 1991, it honors those who participated in the Soweto Uprising in 1976 on that day and raises awareness of the continuing need for improvement of the education provided to African children.

Palestinian Children's Day, on April 5, calls attention to the treatment of Palestinian children by occupying Israeli authorities.

Turkey observes Children's Day on April 23 each year, the same day it celebrates National Sovereignty established in 1920. It is a national holiday, with schools closed and festivities planned. The annual TRT International April 23 Children's Festival organized by the kids channel of the state-run TRT television, attracts hundreds of children from dozens of countries to attend the celebrations and perform their countries’ traditional dances at parades and a gala event.

Universal Children's Day, observed on 20 November, was first proclaimed by the United Kingdom in 1954, to encourage actions to benefit and promote the welfare of the world's children. On this day in 1959, the United Nations adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and, in 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This is a day to  both celebrate children for who they are and to bring awareness to children around the globe succumbing to violence in forms of abuse, exploitation and discrimination.

Thailand celebrates National Youth Day on September 20,  commemorating the birth dates of Kings Chulalongkorn and Ananda Mahidol.

On September 20, Germany observes Children's Day (Weltkindertag) to bring awareness to children's rights and needs.

Tunisia established Children's Day as a holiday on 11 January in 1995. It is a day in which Tunisians observe the rights of children and remind themselves that children are the future builders and developers of the country and the world.


Universal Children's Day t-shirt
The Soweto Uprising: When Young South Africans Shook the World
The Soweto Uprising
When Young South Africans Shook the World

Koinobori Flag
Making Peg Dolls
Making Peg Dolls

Turkish Peasants (1909)
Turkish Peasants (1909)

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