Last Saturday (1st June) we were wished a Happy Children’s Day by one of our Polish friends. Whilst in the UK we celebrate Universal Children’s Day on 20th November (which we’ve considered in a previous post), in Poland (along with almost 50 other countries) the dedicated day for celebrating children is 1st June. Our friend said that it’s a big occasion in her home country, with lots of ways that children are made special. She says that towns organise family fun days with concerts, shows, competitions and cultural events so that “almost every park or amphitheatre has something going on”. Parents and family members give children treats and take them out, almost like a birthday celebration. She remembered that when she was at school instead of lessons on Children’s Day there was a sports day with games and races instead. She was proud to tell us that children are the focus even in parliament, with children taking over and debating children-related topics on this day every year since 1994. To mark the day this year the Polish Statistical Information Centre released an infographic which demonstrates how although the percentage of the population in Poland that are children has remained almost static since 2014 (15.3% of the population, just slightly lower than the EU average of 15.6%), there is evidence that children are becoming more valued and visible in everyday life, for instance the number of playgrounds in tourist accommodation has almost tripled since 2009.
We think it’s wonderful that Polish culture celebrates children in this way, in particular how children’s competencies and capabilities are recognised in their chance to contribute to Polish Parliament. We’d be interested in hearing more about how the day is marked around the world – what are your experiences of celebrating Children’s Day, in Poland and beyond?