Origin of El Día del Niño
It is no surprise that the Mexican culture loves any excuse to celebrate. “El Día del Niño” or “Day of the Child” is a celebration that originated in Mexico and dates back to 1925. El Día del Niño is celebrated each year on April 30th. This day is all about recognizing the importance of children in society and promotes their well being. This holiday is now celebrated in many Latin American countries.
Why It Matters
Remember the days when you were young and your biggest stressor was what movie to watch or what snack to ask for? Those were the simple, easy days. I often think about those days, especially when my anxiety is through the roof. I had a beautiful childhood. My parents worked hard to provide my sisters and me with the best life that they could. They gave us experiences that I hope one day I can return to my own kids. (I realize some people didn’t have the best childhood. And that makes me really sad. I pray that they have been able to find peace with it and have made a better life for themselves.)
On El Día del Niño, people are reminded that a child’s happiness and purpose are equally as important as adults. Children are the future and the ones that will carry our culture, language, and heritage for many generations to come. Parents and grandparents celebrate the children in their family by spending the day with them doing activities that promote the child’s overall well-being. From reading children’s books, to cooking the child’s favorite meals, to going to the park. This day is all about spending quality time with your child!
El Día del Niño serves as a reminder to adults to reflect on their childhood and to remember the world through their child’s eyes.
Being an adult comes with so many responsibilities and a lot of stress. So, occasionally, adopting the worry-free mentality of a child makes for a more enjoyable adulthood.
How We Celebrated El Día del Niño Growing Up
When I was in early elementary school, I remember our school would make a big deal out of El Día del Niño. I attended school in Durango, Mexico until the fourth grade. Our parents would be invited to come to the classrooms and the kids would “pretend” to be the teachers and teach our parents a simple lesson. During lunchtime, we would all go to the patio and enjoy a nice lunch with our parents.
In the evenings we would go to my grandparents’ house where we had a delicious meal and played cards or other board games. We would usually get small gifts. I always looked forward to this wonderful holiday!
How I Plan to Celebrate El Día del Niño
It is very important to me that my son grows up to know his Mexican culture. For El Día del Niño this year, I am planning to celebrate him by picking up and reading a few interactive books together, eating donuts and fruit for breakfast (his favorite), and maybe taking him to the zoo.
Don’t get me wrong. Children should be celebrated all year long, and we should always make the effort to spend quality time with them. Every child deserves the opportunity to be carefree and enjoy one of the most beautiful stages that life has to offer. If you don’t celebrate El Dia del Niño, I would encourage you to add this new holiday to your calendar!
Día del Niño in Albuquerque
The Public Library ABQ-BernCo is hosting fun storytelling and craft events from April 24-29 to celebrate this holiday. Check out the schedule here.
Originally published April 2021.
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.