May 8th was Children’s Day (Día del Niño) in Madrid.
No? Me neither!
Apparently it happens every year in most countries. The UK is one of the few (maybe only) not to celebrate it. Children’s day came and went without anyone noticing as far as I could tell.
Apparently there are two Children’s Day celebrations recognised across the globe and countries celebrate the one they identify with most so the dates vary from country to country. The main (original) Children’s Day was supposedly founded in Paris around 1950 by an organisation working for women’s rights, called the Women’s International Democratic Federation.
The second was some United Nations invention from 1954 called Universal Children’s Day and supposedly celebrated on November 20th. Again; me neither!
In Madrid, Children’s Day is supposedly celebrated on the second Sunday of May – exactly a week after mother’s day (día de la madre). So we missed it this year (and every one before that actually).
The reason I am writing all this is that I only found out about it by chance. Yesterday I was out doing some of that shopping therapy; or is it called retail therapy? – that shows how unaccustomed to it I am. Anyway; I passed one of my favourite stores Toys-R-Us and popped in for a quick look (as you do).
I noticed some posters advertising the store’s latest offers. Big discounts on certain lines for something called “Día del Niño” (Children’s Day). The offers lasting from May 27th to June 7th. I raised an eyebrow or two and left the shop. The day obviously hadn’t gone completely unnoticed in Spain.
Then when I arrived back at my trusty PC I googled it and found we had just missed it. By nearly two weeks in fact.
I can honestly say I had never heard of it. Have you ever heard of it?
It turns out that in Spain it is mainly celebrated on April 15th apart from Madrid where it is supposedly celebrated on the second Sunday of May. Both dates completely passed us by. Also the dates used for the toy store offers do not cover either of these dates. Very odd. I do not recall hearing anything about either date. I use the word “celebrate” very loosely here. As you should now be aware the Spanish need very little excuse to celebrate anything – party animals that they are. But there is no fuss being made of Children’s Day here from what I can see.
I am not sure why it is not “celebrated” in the UK. Does anyone know?
Really that is the sum total of it. If you have read this blog post you now know as much as me about the subject.
To be fair the idea behind Children’s Day is quite an honourable one in that it is meant to initiate actions to benefit children’s welfare globally. Of course in some countries children have a much harder life and I am sure the intentions were aimed at those less fortunate kids.
Anyway here’s a thought. Shouldn’t every day be Children’s Day?