Why Do We Celebrate Children’s Day?


Happy Children’s Day! While you’re planning activities for your child and you this Children’s Day, have you ever wondered why this holiday was created? After all, isn’t every day Children’s Day with your young tots?

The First Official Children’s Day

While many early versions of children’s day have taken place since the first recorded one in Massachusetts, USA in 1857, the first country to officially declare a Children’s Day was The Republic of Turkey. Since that day in 1920, other countries have followed suit and designated their own Children’s Days. Singapore declared our own Children’s Day all the way back in 1961!

For many of these countries, the intention is to have a specific day focused on children’s welfare, education, and growth. The aim is to encourage communities to celebrate children and their potential to contribute to society by ensuring their happiness and well-being. Through a series of special events dedicated to children, the hope is also that children themselves will be motivated to share this love and kinship with other children around the world.

However, did you know that no other countries celebrate Children’s Day on the same day as Singapore?

Previously, when Children’s Day was designated as October 1st, there were three other countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Sri Lanka) that celebrated with us. In 2011, Singapore changed the date to the first Friday of October, ensuring a long weekend for the kids.

World Children’s Day

Photo by Charlein Gracia on Unsplash

There is a Universal Children’s Day, though, that is celebrated on the 20th of November every year. This was established by the United Nations in 1954 and has become more and more critical over the years as children make up more of the world’s population. In fact, according to a study by the UN, children will make up 90% of the next 1 billion people in the world!

November 20th  is also the day that the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959. This year hence marks the 60th anniversary of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and the 30th anniversary of the UN General Assembly adopting the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989!

You could read more about the Declaration of the Rights of the Child or the Convention on the Rights of the Child here, but in essence they are affirming the need to take care of children and to ensure that:

  • Every child is given the opportunity to get an education and to have a voice
  • Every child to be protected from violence and child labour
  • Every child to receive medical care and the access to clean water
  • Every child has a fair chance at love and a happy childhood

In fact, Unicef currently has a petition for every child to be allowed to fulfil every one of these rights, to be sent to world leaders on 20th November 2019. You can sign the petition here if you’d like.

Children’s Day Events In Singapore Today

So what can you do to celebrate Children’s Day in Singapore during this long weekend?

Photo source: Our Tampines Hub

For the large-scale events, there’s Octoburst!2019 at Esplanade, where families can participate in arts and crafts workshops or watch interactive performances that are sure to entertain the kids. Our Tampines Hub is also hosting a Children’s Fiesta until Sunday with ziplines, pinatas and a bounce house. Or why not check out the science-focused shows and experiments at SAFRA Jurong tomorrow?

If you’re looking for something in a smaller setting, classes for your child to learn the basics of art, music, or science could be a great choice as well.

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