Children’s Day: el Dia del Niño

Nationwide, April 30th

In Mexico, everyone has their day and children are celebrated every year on April 30th with parties and events throughout the country.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are widely celebrated throughout the world. But Mexico is such an inclusive culture. Children’s Day is always filled with activities, and children look forward to a holiday all their own with fun, gifts and special events.

Many schools celebrate the day before and parents are invited. Of course, there are usually no classes on Children’s Day itself, April 30, even though it is not an official holiday in the school calendar.

On Children’s Day, the main focus is on the children and making them feel special. In shopping malls all over Mexico, special events with clowns, magicians, music, shows and balloons take place.
Amusement parks as well as zoos and children’s museums usually offer discounts or special deals for children on this day. Water parks are a popular option for spending the day, taking advantage of April’s warm weather. Lines for the water slides can be quite long, but the reward of a refreshing splash in a swimming pool waiting at the end are truly worth the wait.

Large movements are organized by different civil associations that collect toy donations from citizens. On Children’s Day, they give them out to orphans and needy children as a way of literally “making their day.” Toys related to war or that require batteries to operate are generally not accepted.

It is a festivity that is quite unique, full of laughter and play, when adults are reminded of the importance of childhood and children teach us how joyful and simple life can be.

Nowadays, the gifts children of the middle and upper classes ask for are very different than when I was a child though. I would ask for sport equipment, helicopters, and simple toys that were fun and involved playing outdoors. Today, children seem to be more inclined for iPods and video games, as technology has become an important part of contemporary lifestyles.

If you want to be a part of this celebration, why not buy individual packets of candies to carry in and give out to street kids in Mexico? Dollar store toys can also be affordable gifts.

Family is supremely important in Mexico, with Grandparent’s Day on August 28th, Family Day on the first Sunday in March, and even a day for brothers and sisters.

Of course, people come first, and there are also days dedicated to professions, like the Day of the Doctor, Day of the Teacher and Day of the Secretary, among others.

One comment

  1. Children’s Day in Mexico … GEE WIZ , we never had a Children’s Day in San Francisco when I was a young boy in the first and second grade at school during WWII when my parents gave me a small bag of glass marbles to take to school to play with during recess times.

    I found an empty cigar box that I cut several inverted door openings in the open box on one long side and placed a number above each opening, that could be read when the open box was placed upside down , and up against the school building wall. Next I would place a chalk line some 6 foot beyond the box for players to shoot their marbles at the box, and win the number of marbles that were numbered above the doorway their marble entered.

    By the time I had finished the two grades, I had filled a 10 gallon glass jar. I do not know what happened to the jar of marbles when we moved, but now I wish that I had sold small bags of marbles back to the players.

    Much of what I know of playing marbles can be found in a 1973 published book, “The Great American Marble Book” that on the cover page says “Everything you forgot about immies, mibs, glasses, purees, pee-wee’s, etc., and how to play Ringer, Boss-Out, Last Clams , & 50 other marble games.

    I guess today with the iPads and Cellphones, kids no longer have time for games like marbles … but spend their time on hundreds of dollars priced electronic devices.

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