Day of the Child
In Puerto Vallarta and all throughout Mexico we celebrated Dia del Niño on April 30th. We’ve not visited any other place in the world where children are celebrated in the manner they are here. Any store carrying toys focuses on displays with overflowing aisles, bursting with color and amusing purchases for boys and girls.
No matter when their birthday is, for a child in Mexico, they are assured of some kind of special treatment on April 30th, whether it be a trip, or a gift, a dinner out with the whole family or an extra visit to the ice cream shop. Schools are loud and raucous in Puerto Vallarta on this day, with children being made completely aware of how special they are! The celebrations begin early in the morning and continue all through the day, culminating with performances in the parks and plazas, piñatas bursting open, games, prizes and lots of music, singing and dancing. Restaurants make a big deal of this day in Puerto Vallarta and kids are treated like royalty.
The United Nations General Assembly assigned November 20th as Universal Children’s day in 1954 but it’s not really caught on in many places, other than a few columns of cards in Hallmark stores. The original inspiration was meant to promote an exchange among the children themselves, as well as initiate action to benefit and promote their general welfare. November 20th wouldn’t work for Mexico, since it’s Revolution Day, which makes for a whole different kind of celebration in Puerto Vallarta. However, Dia del Niño actually began in Mexico in 1925, long before the UN decided that children should have their own Declaration of Rights. Keeping in mind that this is not an official holiday and schools stay open, there is no schoolwork done and only a very unpopular teacher would assign homework.
We wouldn’t miss this day, being out and about, since there’s nothing quite as joyful as a gathering of children in Puerto Vallarta. Boys and girls dress in bright colors, many in national costumes. Everywhere we go, we are reminded of how precious these little ones are, without forgetting the idea of a day like this is to recognize their vulnerability and how they rely on us and trust us for their wellbeing. This is something we should remember on a daily basis, not just one day of the year, when little ones are being left parentless, homeless and go hungry in war torn countries. April 30th marks the day and we like to carry these sentimentalities in our hearts throughout the year.
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