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If you ever want to get confused about when a holiday is held, this is the one. We’ve done extensive research, and what we have found is there is really a number of Children’s Day observances around the world. Here is a recap of what we’ve found, with the most common listed first:
Universal Children’s Day– Observed on November 20th each year. In 1954, the UN General Assembly recommended that all countries should establish a Universal Children’s Day on an “appropriate” day. We are not sure, but perhaps each country did…..at various different dates during the year. The resolution was adopted on November 20, 1954.
International Children’s Day– The second Sunday in December. This is a joint initiative between UNICEF and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It’s a day when broadcasters “tune in to kids”.
World Children’s Day– Always November 20th. This is a day McDonald’s uses as a fund raiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities. The first official WCD was held on November 20th, 2002 and was celebrated around the world as a way to celebrate children and benefit RMHC chapters around the world. This now annual celebration is officially held on November 20th each year, however fundraising opportunities often extend beyond the day.
Children’s Day in Japan– This is a national holiday in Japan celebrated on May 5th. Started in 1948, Children’s Day is a festive day to celebrate your child’s life. The holiday is believed to have begun in china where they would hang medicinal herbs to ward off childhood diseases. In Japan it is often celebrated by giving children kites and hanging streamers.
In Japan, the Children’s Festival was originally called the “Boy’s Festival” while the girls had the “Doll Festival”.
Children’s Day in other countries is celebrated in other countries, often on different dates and with varying customs.