Musical selection for International Children's Day in the Museum Phonotheque

Children's Day is celebrated in most countries of the world. However, the date and the name depend on the state and its traditions.

In Russia, Children's Day is celebrated annually on the 1st of June. In 2024, the date falls on a Saturday. Although the official name of the holiday is International Children's Day, the date is not celebrated simultaneously in all countries of the world. On June 1, Children's Day is celebrated in countries with a socialist past, such as China, Vietnam, Bulgaria, as well as in many former Soviet republics, such as Armenia, Kazakhstan, Latvia and Estonia.

Another popular date for a similar holiday is November 20. On this day, France, Germany, Italy, India and other countries celebrate World Children's Day on the initiative of the UN. In fact, it is another holiday, which is also dedicated to children's rights.

In addition to June 1 or November 20, some countries also celebrate national holidays for children. For example, in Mexico, Dia del Niño (Children's Day) falls on April 30. In Japan, the so-called Kodomo no Hi is celebrated on May 5. Traditionally, it is considered to be a holiday for boys, an analogue of the Hinamatsuri doll and girls' holiday, which is held annually on March 3.

It is believed that the first holiday similar to the modern Children's Day was invented in 1857 by the American pastor Charles Leonard in the city of Chelsea. On the second Sunday of June he did a special duty in his parish, which he dedicated to children. Leonard called this day “Rose Day”, then it was renamed “Flower Sunday” and finally “Children's Day”.

The First World War gave a new impetus for attention to the problem of child protection. After its end in 1918, tens of thousands of young children were pushed to the brink of poverty. In 1919, the British woman Eglantyne Jebb, who, together with her sister Dorothy Buxton, had helped to fight hunger and poverty, founded the Save the Children Fund in London. It is believed that it was Jebb who came up with the idea to create the world's first declaration to protect the rights of children.

It took several years before the idea was realised. In 1924, the League of Nations adopted the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

In 1925, the World Conference on the Welfare of Children was held in Geneva. After it some countries established Children's Day. But since no specific date was proposed at the conference, the states chose their own dates for the holiday.

The date of Children's Day, which is familiar to Russians, was emerged thanks to a pro-communist organisation, the International Democratic Women's Federation (FIDW). Since 1950, on their initiative, June 1 has been celebrated as Children's Day. The tradition still remains in many communist and post-communist countries.

The second popular date for Children's Day appeared in 1959. That year, on November 20, the United Nations (UN) adopted its own declaration based on the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child. New clauses were added to it. For example, the document was supplemented with provisions that the rights should be recognised for all children without exception and without discrimination by colour, sex, language, religion; children for full and harmonious development need love and understanding; every child has the right to education, which should be free and compulsory at the initial stages.

The Geneva Declaration on the Rights of the Child and the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1989 became the basis for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the fastest and most widely ratified international human rights treaty in history. The Convention was also adopted on November 20.

Children's Day is the first day of summer holidays for Russian schoolchildren. Many educational institutions organise contests, sports competitions, summarise the results of the academic year, and present gifts to active students.

Traditionally, various concert programmes are held in Russia on the 1st of June. Museums, theatres and parks organise their own venues for the holiday.

The museum Collection team offers to spend today's day together with children. Equip yourselves with coloured pencils and good mood and download colouring albums ("Magic Dolls", "Music Boxes", "Vases of Emile Galle", "Russian Enamel", "Spring Flowers"), as well as the educational children's album. All these interesting and informative materials are posted on the museum "Collection" website under the heading "Printed Materials".
Let our colouring albums give you the mood of the first summer day and the joy of communicating with your loved ones.

A musical selection timed to coincide with the International Children's Day, composed of musical pieces performed by children's creative groups, and posted in the museum Phonotheque.

On the cover: Musical automaton “Children with a basket of flowers“ The 1900s

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