Celebration of our loved ones allows us to reflect on their importance to us, particularly on days dedicated to a specific person, such as Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Countries all over the world dedicate a day to the celebration of the ones that, for many of us, are the light of our lives: our children. Día del Niño, or “Day of the Child,” celebrates children. It also brings to light issues that affect children.
History of Día del Niño
Celebraciones Mexicanas: History, Traditions, and Recipes (2013) by Andrea Lawson Gray and Adriana Almazan Lahl explains that in 1923 President Alvaro Obregón established April 30 to be the Día del Niño, or “Day of the Child” in Mexico. According to Gray and Almazan Lahl, the decision in 1923 occurred because the League of Nations drafted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in the same year. (The League of Nations then adopted the declaration in 1924. Subsequently the United Nations extended and adopted it in 1959).
Eglantyne Jebb, a social reformer and founder of Save the Children Organization, drafted this declaration. It recognizes “that mankind owes to the Child the best that it has to give.” It contains five points that highlight the priority children around the world must have to all peoples and nations.
“The child must be given the means requisite for its normal development, both materially and spiritually;
The child that is hungry must be fed; the child that is sick must be nursed; the child that is backward must be helped; the delinquent child must be reclaimed; and the orphan and the waif must be sheltered and succored;
The child must be the first to receive relief in times of distress;
The child must be put in a position to earn a livelihood, and must be protected against every form of exploitation;
The child must be brought up in the consciousness that its talents must be devoted to the service of fellow men.”
Día del Niño in Mexico
The United Nations now celebrates Universal Children’s Day on November 20. But many countries have adopted their own dates. Mexico celebrates the Mexican Revolution on November 20. So President Obregón declared April 30th Mexico’s Día del Niño. People celebrate this holiday in various ways. Most commonly they give children candy and break a piñata. In Mexico, some schools observe this day as a holiday and do not have classes. On Día del Niño, the focus is children’s enjoyment. Therefore, many people plan activities for kids all throughout the day.
Día del Niño in Albuquerque
In Albuquerque, there are events to enjoy with your kiddos to celebrate Día del Niño! Albuquerque Public Libraries have free storytelling and music activities in several locations April 24 to 29. (Here’s a link to the schedule.) Susi Wolf will be telling folktales and animal stories. Participating children will receive a free book, courtesy of the Friends for the Public Library, at East Mountain Library on April 26, 10:30-11:30am, and Erna Ferguson Library on April 27, 2-3pm.