Tuesday, April 26, 2011

International Children's Day (Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı)

This past week has been an exciting holiday for kids here in Turkey. April 23 is Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı which is literally translated as "The Holiday of National Sovereignty and Children's Day".

All over the country the week of April 23 is celebrated with spectacular activities, and thousands of children come to Turkey from all over the world to stay in Turkish homes and join in the celebrations.

Did you know that Children's Day actually originated in Turkey?

There's also a very interesting history behind how it came about. On April 23, 1920, during the War of Independence, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey was born out of the ashes of the Ottoman Empire. On this day, Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, dictated his vision for modern Turkey - independent, secular, progressive and republican. He proclaimed the new Turkey to be "a state of the people and a state by the people" declaring all citizens - men and women, rich and poor - to be equal before the law.

And to commemorate this great day for Turkey, Atatürk gifted April 23 to the children, entrusting in their hands the protection of this sovereignty and independence.

A day dedicated to the children of the world is a lovely way to show our appreciation for the creators of our future.

In our house though, everyday is Children's Day.