Children’s Day Celebration in Ajijic “Dia del Niño” 2013
Children’s Day was Tuesday April 30th in Mexico. No classes on that day, just games and parties, pinatas and other great things for the children to do. In 1954, the General Assembly of the United Nations recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children’s Day. So this is a huge holiday all over the world, not just in Mexico. Most countries celebrate it on June 1st. The celebration in this article was held on Sunday, April 28th, a few days before the official Children’s day.
The town plans for this holiday for months in advance, collecting money from different organizations and individuals. I talked with a man from the Association of Charros (the Cowboys). He said they were helping out with everything, including donating money. Check out the photo below. They were mixing up the sweet drinks in garbage cans because those were the largest containers they could find.
Can you imagine hundreds of children, all hyped up on sugar, running around the rodeo grounds? Those volunteers were brave souls. I loved this costume in the photo below. I wonder if he was one of the teachers, a parent, or a cowboy. Maybe he was all three.
The children were given cake, drinks and balloons. Also prizes for the winners of the games.
I arrived at the beginning of the celebration and this nice woman in a bee costume gave me a piece of cake. It was almost gone already.
These women were very friendly. They too were running out of cake.
The cake in the photo below says, Happy Day of the Child. That one didn’t last long either.
Besides the free cakes and sweet drinks, there were several other stands which were selling food. Healthy food, like hot dogs and candy. In the photo below, look in the background. You will see children running and playing. They were having a lot of fun. Children everywhere. Running. Screaming. Playing. Eating sweets. It was a busy place.
The children on the ledge in the photo below, were happily waiting for things to begin. No one was in a hurry. They were just enjoying the special attention and all their friends.
Below is a photo of the stands, before they became crowded.
Below is a photo of another brave man, dressed in a silly costume. But he was having fun. The child next to him was scoping out things before joining his friends in the ring.
The older boys in the photo below were more serious than the younger ones. They were sitting on a ledge. When the tug of war started, they joined in and were doing their best to win.
Below is a family, waiting for everything to start. The mother saw that I was going to take her photo and she quickly turned her head. She was shy. Her mother thought that was funny. The older man nearby was watching and enjoying the scene. I don’t know if he was related to them or not.
The first game was tug of war. The winners were each given a little prize. Some kind of plastic toy, like a horn. Just what this scene needed, blasting plastic horns along with all the screaming children. Great fun.
The little boy in the two photos below was fearless. He was like a miniature master of ceremonies. He loved that microphone. He couldn’t sing on key but he sang with heart. He also did rope tricks.
The older man took photos of the event. He spent a lot of time photographing this boy singer because the boy singer was a stage hog. He stole the show.
Now consider the photo below. This girl couldn’t have been more opposite than the boy singer. Her parents dressed her up and fixed her hair for this event and I am guessing she was looking forward to it for weeks. She knew I was taking her photo. No smiles from her. She was extremely shy.
In the photo below, the women are trying to organize one of the games. They were being very patient. Maybe they were teachers or maybe parents, or both.
Below is a photo of the sack race. The crowd loved this event. They were doing lots of yelling to encourage the jumpers.
Another game in the below photo. Each child had a balloon and then they tried to pop the other balloons. Could have been a dangerous game. Lots of ankles being hit. But it turned out okay. No one was carried off to the hospital in an ambulance.
I love the photo below of the little boy and his grandpa. Families in Mexico are very close. Everyone watches over the children, including the grandpas and grandmas. Someone besides me, (maybe it was the mother), was taking the little boy’s photo and he was enjoying the attention.
Mother’s Day is May 12th. I was told by the Charro (Cowboy) that there will be another similar celebration for the Mother’s. There will be games and prizes, including microwaves. All for free. Everyone is invited. That sounds like fun.
The boy in the photo below was taking care of his younger brother. This is often seen in Mexico, older children taking care of their younger brothers and sisters.
Just in case you think taking care of younger brothers and sisters is a chore for them, check out the photo below.
The little boy in the last photo, was offering me a bite of his muffin. I was just a stranger, walking by where he was sitting. His generous spirit reached out to me. I love children. Can you imagine a world without children? It would be a very cold and hard place. Happy Children’s Day to all children, all over the world.
I stayed an hour and a half. With all the activity going on around me, I was overwhelmed. I needed to get to a quiet place to regroup. But I was told that the celebration was going to be continuing for another couple of hours. They were planning a greased pole event. That is where the children try to climb up a greased pole to get to prizes at the top. And in the end, there was going to be a wrestling event with wrestlers from Guadalajara. I am sure it was fun but I was too tired to stay. I hope you enjoyed the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.