German World Children’s Day on September 20 is the country’s statutory children’s day, one of two children’s days celebrated annually in Germany. While all Germans agree that celebrating their youngest citizens is a great concept, they disagree on the timing. Although two children’s days are recognised in Germany, not everyone celebrates them. And the official day, German World Children’s Day, is not celebrated by German families in isolation.
When to celebrate its children is a contentious issue with profound historical roots in Germany. To comprehend this divide, a shallow descent into Germany’s recent past is required. It is a worthwhile dive because it ultimately reminds us how essential it is to set aside our political biases and unite for the sake of our children, the most valuable resource on the planet.
The background of German World Children’s Day
The story of Germany’s two children’s days begins in 1954, after World War II, when East Germany and West Germany existed as two independent and separate German states. In that year, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly decided that all nations would observe a Universal Children’s Day to promote international cooperation and improve the welfare of children around the world. In addition to designating November 20 as Universal Children’s Day, the UN resolution also suggested that each country choose a meaningful date that is appropriate for their own people to commemorate as Universal Children’s Day. Consequently, some countries chose to celebrate their children on November 20, but many countries elected to observe Universal Children’s Day on other dates throughout the year.
West Germany chose to organise a Universal Children’s Day on September 20, 1954 as “Weltkindertag,” or World Children’s Day, in response to the United Nations’ resolution. At the same time, East Germany chose not to recognise Universal Children’s Day and instead continued to celebrate “Internationaler Kindertag,” or International Children’s Day, on June 1, a holiday East Germans had observed since 1926, well before World War II. If you are familiar with postwar German history, you can reasonably predict where these decisions will lead in 1990, when reunification occurs.
To add to the confusion, the United Nations changed the name of their November 20 Universal Children’s Day to World Children’s Day at some point in time, although we do not know when. Former West German families also refer to German Children’s Day as Universal Children’s Day. Confused? Likewise, but there is positive news. Despite the fact that Germany officially recognises only one children’s day, two children’s days still exist and are celebrated, so children triumph.
WORLD CHILDREN’S DAY ACTIVITIES IN GERMANY
Host a Skype celebration for the children.
When it comes to celebrating any day centred on children, throwing a celebration is the proverbial no-brainer option. Since we’re cooped up inside, send a Skype or Zoom invitation to the neighbourhood kids, the children, school friends, and family, and have a Germany-themed party by making German treats, dancing to German folk music, and learning a few German words.
Twist together some pretzels.
Everyone in the family should don an apron, roll up their sleeves, and have a good time making pretzels, which are unquestionably Germany’s most well-known and popular food around the globe. Known as brezel, brezn or breze in the German language, make a batch of both soft and firm varieties with savoury or sweet flavours, of course in the familiar knot-like traditional pretzel shape.
A virtual journey to Germany.
Take a virtual trip to Germany by searching online for videos from each of the country’s thirteen distinct regions. Each region has a distinct culture of music, art, song, and dance, as well as castles filled with legends and fairy tales that are bound to captivate children and adults alike.
5 delectable German foods that children adore.
Spaetzle is the German equivalent of the American childhood favourite macaroni and cheese.
The origin of the authentic German Black Forest cake is the Black Forest region of Germany, and it is chock-full of chocolate and cherries.
Apfelstreusel is essentially the German equivalent of the popular American bakery dessert apple strudel.
Similar to potato latkes, these pan-fried shredded potato pancakes are a favourite among German youngsters.
German sauerbraten is traditionally marinated for two days in red wine, vinegar, and seasonings before being roasted.
GERMAN WORLD CHILDREN’S DAY DATES