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All You Need To Know About World Children's Day

By Satabdi MazumdarNovember 15, 2022
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November sparks joy in Children like no other month, well, except maybe for their birthday month. But why is November special? Well, it’s the month of children’s day. One day of the year when Children can go to their schools in colourful clothes and have fun seeing their teachers perform for them. November 14th is a day all children wait for around the year. Wait! November 14th? That’s not World Children’s Day; that’s India’s Children’s Day. Well, what’s the difference? Let’s find out.

World Children’s Day

World Children’s Day

Also Read - Children's Day 2022: History, Significance & Celebration

What is World Children’s Day?

World Children’s Day is observed/celebrated on November 20th every year. The United Nations established November 20th as Universal Children’s Day in 1954. Over the years, the UN has also adopted the declaration of the rights of the child and the Convention on the rights of the child on November 20th, in 1959 and 1989, respectively. The reason World Children’s Day is celebrated is so that the world can

  • Discuss how to improve children’s welfare around the world

  • Promote international comradery and togetherness

  • Bringing awareness about children’s problems from around the world

So, now you know the story behind World Children’s Day. Did you know that even in India, Children’s Day used to be celebrated on November 20th up until 1964? There is a very interesting history as to how the concept of a children’s day came up and how India adopted its very own. So, let’s explore the world children’s day history.

Why is Universal Children’s Day Celebrated?

The history of Children’s Day runs back almost 200 years. In the US, there was a priest Reverend Dr Charles Leonard, from Chelsea, Massachusetts. On the 2nd Sunday of June in 1857, he organised and dedicated a service to Children. He named it Rose Day. Later on, the day was renamed Flower Sunday and, ultimately, Children’s Day.

The first time Children’s Day became accepted as a national holiday was in the Republic of Turkey in 1920 on April 23rd. The government and the local papers in Turkey at that time declared the day dedicated to children. To make it official, the government came up with justifiable reasoning to clarify the celebration of children’s day in Turkey in 1929.

The United Nations picked up the baton from there, and in 1954 they declared November 20th as Universal Children’s Day. For the 5th Universal Children’s Day in 1959, the United Nations adopted an extended form of a document drafted by the then League of Nations in 1924. The document was the declaration of the rights of the child. The adoption of this document by the United Nations and the resolution proposed by the delegation of Afghanistan ensured the rights mentioned in the document would have to be honoured and upheld by governments across the world to the best of their abilities.

This is a brief history of why is universal children’s day celebrated. But, this still does not answer how India got its own Children’s day date and what happened in 1964. So, let’s answer these questions now.

Children’s Day in India

So, the burning question, when is Children’s Day? Is it not on November 14th? No need to worry; yes, it is on November 14th in India. For the rest of the world, except for some countries like Australia, South Africa, and Russia, Children’s Day is on November 20th.

Now, tracking back to the fact mentioned previously that India too celebrated Children’s Day on November 20th before 1964, so what happened in 1964? In 1964, the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, passed away. He was known to love kids a lot, and kids lovingly called him “Chacha Nehru”. 

He famously said that “the children of today will make the India of tomorrow. The way we bring them up will determine the future of the country.” He even established the Children’s Film Society India to create cinema exclusively for kids. Upon his demise in 1964, it was decided that India would celebrate Children’s Day on his birthday November 14th in his memory and to honour him.

Also, quick side note, if you are interested in learning when Australia, South Africa, and Russia celebrate their Children’s day, it is on November 7th, August 4th, and June 1st, respectively. Bonus fact, June 1st is also officially known as International Children’s Day. Now that you are clear about how India got its own Children’s day let’s learn some facts about universal children’s day.

Facts About Universal Children’s Day

  • The United Nations adopted the Convention on the rights of the child on November 20th 1989. This document spoke in detail about the rights of a child and ratified it in international law.

  • On November 20th 2012, the then United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki Moon, launched a campaign to help every child across the world to be able to go to school. This campaign was to achieve its goal by 2015.

  • Universal Children’s Day is celebrated to bring light to children’s issues worldwide. From children going through child labour to children stuck in war-torn countries, this day is used to bring light to their stories.

So, that concludes all you need to know about world children’s day. Now, you know the world children’s day date as well as when is international children’s day celebrated across the world. So, this universal children’s day, enjoy yourself to the fullest and remember to nurture the children around you and inside you to help make the world a better place.

Last updated date: 15th Sep 2023
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FAQs on All You Need To Know About World Children's Day

1. Are International Children’s Day and Universal Children’s Day the same?

No, International Children’s Day and Universal Children’s Day are not the same. They are both celebrated on June 1st and November 20th of every year, respectively.

2. Is Children’s Day A Public Holiday?

No, Children’s Day in India is not a gazetted holiday.

3. Who Started Children’s Day?

Children’s day was first started in the 1800s by Reverend Dr Charles Leonard.