The Federal Republic of Germany has two distinctive celebrations dedicated to children; Universal Children’s Day, and International Children’s Day. The former is an official annual holiday that is celebrated on the 20th of September, whilst the latter is more popular in the eastern parts of the country, and is typically observed on the 1st of June.
Prior to the reunification of Germany, the country was divided into two factions during the Cold War: the German Democratic Republic (abbreviated into GDR, and commonly referred to as East Germany), and the Federal Republic of Germany (shortened into FRG, and informally denominated West Germany).
Each faction had its own children’s day. In East Germany, International Children’s Day was inaugurated in the year 1950, and was observed every year along with other Eastern European countries. On this day, parents usually give presents to their children, and special events are generally held in schools, including field trips, parades, and concerts.
On the other hand, Universal Children’s Day is a holiday that was instigated in West Germany in coordination with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The aforementioned holiday had political overtones, unlike its East Germany counterpart; focusing more on consolidating children’s rights in Germany and all around the world.
Upon the unification of Germany in 1990, Universal Children’s Day was recognized as the sole official holiday in the country that is dedicated to children. Notwithstanding, the majority of parents in eastern parts of the country still confer presents to their children on the 1st of June, whilst public festivities in said parts of the country take place concurrently with Universal Children’s Day on the 20th of September.