Children’s Day celebration in Nigeria: Five things you should know

Children are young and beautiful creatures; and with their innocent smiles and carefree spirits, they steal the hearts of many. Little wonder there is a day set aside to celebrate them. Children’s Day, which is celebrated in Nigeria on May 27 annually, is dedicated to celebrating children all over the world, and for adults to remember their childhood experiences.

Here are five things you should know about Children’s Day celebrations.

The earliest celebration of Children’s Day can be traced back to the United States of America in 1857, where a certain Pastor Charles Leonard held a service for children at his church. Locally, the service became known as Children’s Day.
After then, similar celebrations to celebrate children began to occur in different parts of the world.
The International Children’s Day was first marked in Turkey on April 23, 1920. Later, on June 1, 1925, during the World Conference on the Welfare of Children, the International Children’s Day was declared.

Universal Children’s Day is celebrated on November 20

The idea of a Universal Children’s Day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on November 20, 1954.
In the year 1959, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child on that same day while the official decree on the protection of children’s rights was established on November 20, 1989.

Children’s Day differs from country to country

Though the United Nations set November 20 aside for Children’s day celebration, the day is celebrated on different dates in different countries.
May 27 is traditionally the Children’s Holiday in Nigeria. China celebrates Children’s Day on June 1 while Japan celebrates theirs on May 5 and Britain celebrates theirs on August 20.

Significance of the celebration

Though it is not a general public holiday in Nigeria, the day is set aside to honour the younger generation and, thus, primary and secondary children are given a day off from school.
In addition to the festivities and celebrations of Children’s Day, this date also serves to recognise that all minors and children have the right to health, education and protection.

Activities on Children’s Day

Several social activities are carried out on Children’s Day, varying from excursions, parties, funfairs, parades, etc.
Most of these activities are held at special centres like stadiums, amusement parks, and other notable places.
Some government bodies, media organisations, and non-governmental organisations also take the day out to reach out to children and help them in several ways.
Parents celebrate their children too on this day, by getting them presents, taking them out on excursions, and giving them a treat.


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