After mother’s and father’s day, the Dia del Niño (Children’s Day) is one of the most celebrated holidays in Mexico. The focus of this day is to create awareness among parents, teachers, the government, and all members of society about the importance of protecting children and providing a safe and optimal environment for their development.
Origin of Children’s Day
Although the Dia del Niño is meant to be a joyful celebration for the little ones, unfortunately, its origins are not a pleasant matter.
When World War I was over, in 1919, and the devastation caused sat in, the British activist Eglantyne Jebb became aware of the incredible toll the war had taken among the smallest and defenseless members of society, the children. The streets of Vienna were full of parentless offspring struggling to survive. Those children were unprotected, hungry, and left to their own with no help.
Naturally, the devastation left after the war sunk into everyone’s reality. However, Miss Jebb saw it as her duty to protect those children that needed so much and had nothing. She went out of her way to found collaborators to help her better life conditions for war orphans. This way, in 1920, with the Red Cross’s help, she founded an organization called Save the Children, dedicated to child development.
In 1923, Eglantyne Jebb drafted the first Declaration of the Rights of the Child, also knowns as the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which was adopted by the League of Nations in 1924. Later, this declaration was adopted and extended by the back then newly created United Nations, and they established it on November 20th, 1959, World Children’s Day.
Children’s Day in Mexico
Children’s Day is celebrated in Mexico since 1924 when the then Alvaro Obregon government accepted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child implemented by the League of Nations. However, the government decided to celebrate it on April 30th because of the major holiday on November 20, marking the Mexican revolution anniversary. It made more sense to move Children’s day to the last day in April to be together with May 1st (Labor Day) and May 5th (Puebla’s battle).
Children’s Day Celebrations
Typically, Children’s Day in Mexico is celebrated with various events like dancing, puppetry and magic shows, games, and many other fun activities for children as well as adults. However, this year is different, and probably the best way to celebrate children is to spend quality time with them doing creative activities they enjoy the most.
Besides buying gifts for your children, you can take this opportunity to get creative and come up with fun things to do. Put together a homemade movie theater in the living room where you can together watch your child’s favorite films, don’t forget the popcorn. Pick up something yummy that you can cook together, record it to see the fun mess it was. Dress up and pose as a live model for your child to create a masterpiece. Built a boat or a kite and take it to the park or beach.
Let the inner child in you come out to celebrate the child in your life!