Although not much is known about El Día de Los Niños in the United States, it’s an annual celebration throughout many countries in Latin America, that was actually believed to be initiated in Mexico when then President Álvaro Obregón and Public Education Minister José Vasconcelos accepted the Children’s Rights Declaration on April 30, 1925, and is now observed on that day yearly. Today, it’s evolved into an event that is celebrated in many countries ahead of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day later in the spring, and now also incorporates a focus on children’s literacy.
We absolutely love that the celebration of “Día” has been widely adopted in Latin America, and has come to include festivals, parades, specials events at places like malls and amusement parks and of course, treats and gifts for children. How much fun is that?! It may be cliché, but children are the future and we can happily rally behind anything that helps them understand how truly important and valued they are. And even though, it’s not a common holiday celebrated in the U.S., there’s no reason we can’t all get in on the Día fun. Keep reading to get inspired for El Día de Los Niños with the different ways it’s celebrated throughout Latin America.
Parades geared toward children are very common throughout Mexico. There are often magicians, musicians, storytellers and other children’s entertainers involved in the festivities. Toy drives are often held to provide for children in need, which is one aspect of Día in Mexico that is particularly special. Giving is highlighted as a part of the celebration, and it is not uncommon for children to make toys and crafts in school and be encouraged to gift them to other children.
In Colombia, it’s common to gift children lots of sweet treats for El Día de Los Niños. From personalized cakes, cookies and pastries to big Easter-style baskets of chocolates and candies, little ones in Colombia look forward to getting lots of sugary, delicious treats every Día.
In Chile, there are typically many special public and private events held to honor children on Día. Events usually feature kid-centered activities and entertainers, and children in need are often prioritized. Schools, libraries and, private organizations and local businesses all get in on the action.
In Argentina, El Día de Los Niños is actually celebrated in August rather than in April. Rather than being an offshoot of the celebration in Mexico, the holiday in Argentina began after the 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child was signed. Kids look forward to receiving all kinds of presents including toys, new clothes and of course yummy treats.
In Bolivia, El Día de Los Niños is observed on April 12 each year. Festivities are primarily school-centered, with children having the opportunity to participate in a slew of fun activities including parades, games, parties and extra play time. The focus of the day in Bolivia is on providing a special way to bring joy to all children, including those suffering from poverty, which is very common in Bolivia.
Ecuador observes El Día de Los Niños on June 1, as a way to draw attention to children’s rights and the need to both protect and provide for children. As in Bolivia, it is primarily celebrated in schools and through special events organized by both government-run and private organizations. Events typically include games, performers, music and sweets.
For the sake of consistency, Peru observes El Día de Los Niños on the second Sunday of April each year. Interestingly, businesses in Peru observe the day again in August. The intention is to promote children’s rights by raising awareness. Children are often given gifts in honor of the occasion, and many institutions like zoos and parks host special events.
Venezuela began celebrating El Día de Los Niños a bit later than many of the other countries. It didn’t become a day of national observance there until the Law Approving the Convention on the Rights of the Child was passed in 1990. Today, it is observed the third Sunday of every July, and children usually get presents, and families enjoy the day together by visiting parks and going out to eat.
In Panama, El Día de Los Niños is also celebrated in July. It is a big occasion that is intended to promote children’s rights. There are typically themed parades, as well as special events held at parks, museums, etc., where various children’s activities like arts and crafts are planned.
Children in Honduras look forward to El Día de Los Niños nearly all year. It is observed in September every year, and is a day on which children receive gifts and other special treats. It’s a day that’s largely become commercialized in Honduras, and is often compared to Christmas. As with the other Latin American countries that celebrate Día, special events are hold in public places throughout the country.