International Children's Day - June 1st

When I was a child I really liked this feast, since this was my feast! I always thought that the International Children's Day, in Polish: Miedzynarodowy Dzien Dziecka which we celebrated in Poland - is really international. Later I realized that this feast is almost unknown outside of the communistic block, in spite of the fact that it did not become really politicized (in spite of the initial efforts). I also thought that this day was introduced by the United Nations - since it was always called "international" - but in reality the United Nations proclaimed not the June but the November 20th as the Universal Children's Day - by the resolution of the national assembly in 1954. November 20th - is devoted to promoting the welfare of the children of the world.

The stamps below are from 1951 when the communistic government was trying to policize the International Children's day


The text on the sign with the pictures of communists in the center:
Youth! Together we will strengthen the peace

The text's translation:
Pioneer love the Peoples' Poland


The International Children's Day has been introduced in Poland in the early fifties of XX century. It was easily adopted by Polish children and adults - on the personal level as well as in schools and other public institutions. It coincided with the beginning of summer and since it takes place near the end of the school year - it is usually treated as a holiday. Children attend schools at this day - but school usually organizes for them some special activities - like outdoor plays or the field trips. This day and also the whole week of the beginnig of June is the time of the festivities organized in the parks and entertainment centers. The parents usually buy some small gifts to their kids - the smaller the children the bigger the gifts.

The stamps below commemorate International Children' Day in Czechoslovakia in 1959. The text on these stamps say: "Peace to the Children in the whole World"



The origin of the International Children's Day reaches 1925 year. Two important events took place on June 1st in 1925 - the World Conference for the Wellbeing of Children in Geneva; in the same time the Chinese consul-general in San Francisco gathered a number of Chinese orphans to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival.

Below is another stamp from Czechoslovakia's International Children's Day Celebration in 1974



The celebrating of June 1st as the International Children's Day was initiated by the International Federation of Democratic Women during their meeting in Fall 1949. June 1st as Children Day is celebrated not only in Poland but also in Czech republic, in Slovakia, Russia, Baltic republic and also in the Eastern part of the Germany. The rest of the world celebrated the Children's Day either in a different time, sometimes in a bit different form. In many countries children do not have their special day or... they have their special days all around the year!

© by Jagoda Urban-Klaehn, article #293)



See the official flag of International Children's Day and its animated version

Read about Playground Games for Polish Children - Klasy, Chlopek & Zoska and how to teach children Polish. Check a selection of Children activities, games and pasttimes.
Help Polish Children through giving just a little of your free time by participation in The Wooden Puppet Program.



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