Wouldn’t it be nice if every day was a Children’s Day? What kind of kid wouldn’t want a special day just devoted to him/her? If I were a kid, I would buy all the toys from Fao Schwarz, I would watch my favorite cartoons all day and I would eat all the junk foods in the world without having my mom yell at me. But alas, not every day can be dedicated just to children! Luckily, there are two major days on which children are honored. Some countries celebrate Universal Children’s Day on November 20th, as designated by the United Nations in 1954; however, most countries from the former Eastern bloc celebrate International Children’s Day on June 1st.
International Children’s Day was declared at the World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva in 1925. No one knows for sure why this day is celebrated on June 1st. Some believe that this day was chosen because the day of the Geneva conference coincided with the Dragon Boat Festival, in which the Chinese consul-general in San Francisco gathered Chinese orphans to celebrate it on June 1, 1925. In the Soviet Union, International Children’s Day was formally established in November 1949 at the International Democratic Women’s Federation and was celebrated for the first time the following year.
On this day, every activity revolves around children. Speeches are given on children’s rights and their well-being, favorite cartoons and films are shown on TV, sports events, parties and other activities are organized for the children and their families. While International Children’s Day is a joyous holiday for children, it is also a day for adults to remember that they have the responsibility to care for children and to respect their rights.
Well, since June 1st is approaching, we at the Wende want to celebrate International Children’s Day by posting few items related to children from our collection.
Russian school children from Leningrad school number 198. 1975-1976.
A scrapbook describing pioneer-related activities with photographs of pioneers who participated in these activities. From East Germany. Circa 1980-1981.
Young Pioneer doll from East Germany.
A DDR pilot doll from East Germany.
“Голосую, За Счастье Детей!” or “I Vote, for the Happiness of Children!” in English.
Plate with children dressed in costumes representing the Army, Navy and Space program of the USSR.
A rattle toy
Happy International Children’s Day!