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Brazil’s Dia Das Crianças vs Children’s Day

Today is Children’s Day in Brazil! Like Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day, the date doesn’t exactly match the date in the US. But as we all know, no matter how far away we are from our homeland, celebrating these special occasions has a way of bringing us back home. 

History of Brazil’s Dia Das Crianças

In 1923, Rio de Janeiro hosted the 3rd South American Child Congress, where education, nutrition, and children’s development were highlighted. In November 1924, the federal deputy at the time, Galdino do Valle Filho, took advantage of the government’s interest in the matter and drafted the bill that established the 12th of October as Dia Das Criança (translated Children’s Day). The first celebration was the following year.

However, it was a date that passed without much attention for a long time. It wasn’t until the 1960s that Johnson & Johnson teamed up with Estrela and used the holiday as an opportunity to launch their “Week of the Robust Baby.”

The initiative was a success. Product sales drew the attention of other manufacturers and marketers of children’s goods. In the following years, they renamed the commemoration “Children’s Week,” increasing the scope until it became a national custom.

Despite being a date focused on consumption, Brazil’s Dia Das Crianças is still a great opportunity to put a spotlight on the rights, health, care, and leisure of little ones.

World Children’s Day

World Children’s Day was established by UNICEF. It is celebrated on November 20, the same day that in 1959, UNICEF made the Declaration of Children’s Rights official. This document established a series of rights for all children in the world, such as food, love, and education.

On this date, several actions are taken around the world, including goals and initiatives that are established for the welfare of children all over the globe. 

UNICEF and its partners are calling on governments to adopt a Six-Point Plan to protect our children:

  1. Ensuring that all children can receive education, which includes closing the digital divide.
  2. Ensuring access to health and nutritional services and making vaccines accessible and available to all children.
  3. Supporting and protecting the mental health of children and youth and bringing an end to child abuse, gender-based violence and neglect.
  4. Increasing access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene and to address environmental degradation and climate change.
  5. Reversing the rise in child poverty and ensuring an inclusive recovery for all.
  6. Redoubling efforts to protect and support children and their families living in the midst of conflict, disaster and displacement.

This list was taken directly from the United Nations’ website.

When is Children’s Day in the USA?

There is no celebration at the national level in the US as there is in Brazil. Some dates are observed and none of them are constant, varying according to whoever occupies the position in the White House.

  • National Children’s Day was celebrated on the second Sunday in October under the Bush and Clinton administration, beginning October 8, 1989. The only exception was in 1993, when it changed to November 21.
  • In 2001, the Republican-controlled Congress declared National Children’s Day to be celebrated on the first Sunday in June, which the Bush administration followed except in 2002, when it was pushed back to the second Sunday in June.
  • The Obama Administration continued to celebrate National Children’s Day, but changed the date to Nov. 20, which doesn’t always fall on a Sunday. An exception was made in 2009, when it was celebrated on Sunday 22 November.

The initiative came from Rev. Dr. Charles Leonard of the Universalist Church of the Redeemer in Chelsea, Massachusetts, who started Children’s Day in 1856 as a special day for baptizing children. He originally called it “Rose Day.”

However, despite the confusion with the dates, it was agreed that National Children’s Day is on the second Sunday in June. Why not take the opportunity to celebrate the children in your life or the inner child within?

Here is how you can make this Children’s Day unforgettable.

Who doesn’t enjoy giving gifts to their children? It warms up our hearts to see those little eyes shining at a toy after tearing open the wrapping paper. However, there are other ways to bring that sparkle to their eyes– and yours.

On Children’s Day, you can spend more time with your children and enjoy every minute of their presence. Here are some of our suggestions:

  • Turn off the TV and cell phone and be 100% present.
  • Start new family traditions.
  • Explore the outdoors.
  • Tell stories from your childhood or family.
  • Print photos and build an album together.
  • Be creative through art or music, painting, drawing, embroidering, singing, or dancing.
  • Read your favorite childhood book.
  • Read their favorite books.
  • Teach something new, a skill you had when you were a kid or something you enjoy doing now.
  • Play board games.
  • Listen to stories they have to tell.
  • Look for adventure with your children, whether it is in the garden, in the park or in the city. Try to see the environment through their eyes!
  • Make a special treat together in the kitchen.
  • Have a picnic at the nearest park.

There are plenty of activities you can do together, not only on this day but any other day of the year. Use Children’s Day as an opportunity to get out of the everyday routine to disconnect and get back to your own roots. 

Your complete and unconditional presence is the greatest gift you can give to your children, one they will benefit from as much as you! Give it a try! 😉

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