Why Do We Celebrate Children’s Day In Nigeria? Origin And History

Admit it! Children’s day was the one day you looked forward to the most when growing up bar Christmas day and your birthday. This was because not only were you guaranteed a school free day in some cases but you could always be rest assured of getting some ice cream, cakes or chocolates every May 27th. However, did you ever stop to think about the origin, history and reason behind the Children’s day celebration? Chances are very slim that you might have so let’s take you on a quick journey down memory lane.

History Of Children’s Day

The history of Children’s Day dates back to 1857. Children’s Day was originated by a pastor of the Universalist Church of the Redeemer in Chelsea, Massachusetts, Reverend Dr. Charles Leonard on the second Sunday of June 1857. He had held a special service which was dedicated to children which was called Rose day. Rose day later got renamed to Flower Sunday and then eventually Children’s day.


Children’s Day then grew in popularity and was first declared a public holiday in the Republic of Turkey on the 23rd of April 1920. Children’s Day also called The International Day for Protection of Children has been celebrated by over 50 countries since 1950 with a lot of them celebrating it on the 1st of June. This was after it had become established by the Women’s International Democratic Federation on the 4th of November 1949.

Children’s Day is not to be confused with Universal Children’s Day which takes place annually on the 20th of November. It was first proclaimed by the United Kingdom in 1954 and had been set up to encourage all countries to pick out a day to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children and also to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world’s children.

Children’s Day In Nigeria

May 27 is the date set aside for the celebration of Children’s Day in Nigeria. It is by and large a very significant day in the lives of so many Nigerian children.

On this day every year, most children are granted a holiday from school although Adults are not excused and have to be at work. A lot of social activities are centered around children on this day from converging at stadiums to commemorate the event to parties, events at the park and the visiting of motherless babies homes amongst others.


It has also become the habit of some brands, government officials and media organisations to honour some children with leadership opportunities for one day. Certain radio and TV stations do this by featuring child broadcasters on air and letting them anchor their programs for the early part of the day.