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Children’s Day Celebrations in May


5th May – Japan and South Korea

In Japan, Children’s Day celebrations take place as part of Golden Week, which incorporates several holidays in Japan including Emperor Akihito’s birthday, Constitution Memorial Day and Greenery Day. Children’s Day was originally called Tanho no Sekku and was a celebration just for boys, however it is now combined with Hinmatsuri (Girls Day) and celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th month, providing a chance for all to celebrate in the children’s happiness and also honour their mothers. Also known as Feast of Banners, Koinobori kites are flown in the days leading up to the Children’s Day festivities, with a Koi added for each child symbolising the legendary journey upstream of the carp which then transforms into a dragon.  Traditional treats eaten on this day include mochi rice cakes served with jam and chimaki, a sweet paste, wrapped in oak or bamboo leaves.

South Korea also celebrates Children’s Day on the 5th May, the holiday was originally marked on 1st May from 1922 with the date then changed in 1946.  Bang Jeong-hwan, both an author and intellectual figure was key in promoting the day which originally focussed on improving the social status of the Nation’s children, and now concentrates on love, care and respect.   Children’s Day is a favourite for little ones and parents alike, Children receive gifts from their parents and in some cases special outings are arranged to spend time quality time together having fun.


10th May – Maldives

Fun and games are on offer for the Children of the Maldives, with numerous exciting activities arranged for them to enjoy and participate in during the Children’s Day celebrations.  Although a holiday many events take place at their schools, which are often decorated with banners and balloons to mark the occasion.  Special assemblies are held with parties also taking place honouring the children and acknowledging responsibilities towards them.


11th May – Spain

In Spain as well as an opportunity to raise awareness for children’s rights and wellbeing, Children’s Day or Dia de Los Ninos is marked by some communities with lively and brightly coloured street processions, with performers entertaining the crowds of families that gather.  Literature is also a focus with some children gifted books to encourage their enjoyment of reading and learning.


17th May – Norway

Families in Norway enjoy two celebrations on the 17th May, Children’s Day coincides with Norwegian Constitution Day and as such children and adults take part in numerous flag waving parades organised by schools and communities, with some wearing traditional costumes.  Marching bands take part in the processions with both the Royal and National anthems played and sung.  People wear red, white and blue ribbons and the parades then stop at significant points along the route such as memorials.  There are plenty of treats on offer for the children to enjoy including hot dogs and ice cream, with party games also played.


25th May – Hungary

Children’s Day in Hungary takes place on the last Sunday in May, a tradition since 1950. Celebrations take the form of fun activities for children, with some organisation staging themed open air performances, with lots of interactive games to play and enjoy. With children’s wellbeing a key focus information on staying safe and accident prevention have also been promoted at the organised events, with singing and dancing for all the enjoy.


27th May – Nigeria

In Nigeria a range of events and festivities take place as part of Children’s Day. As well as giving the children a party atmosphere to savour, efforts are also focussed on the children in terms of education, health and their cultural and social needs. Dancing and feasts are organised with parents giving presents to their children, as well as spending time with them on this special day.  Although a school holiday, some schools offers a range of events and fun activities including competitions for the children to enter and the opportunity to win prizes for their work.


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