On the second Saturday of January, Thai people celebrate Children’s Day by taking their children out to have fun and permit them to live life in their style.
Children are considered as the most valuable resource of the country. Known as “Wan Dek” in Thailand, Children’s Day is celebrated to give them the opportunity to have fun and to create awareness about their significant role towards the development of the country. There is a Thai saying that goes, “Children are the future of the nation, if the children are intelligent, the country will be prosperous”. To help stimulate children to be aware of their significant role in the country, the National Children’s Day was held for the first time on the first monday of October 1955 and continued like this until 1963. Then it was changed to the second Saturday of January. The change was made since the rainy season passes by January and the second Saturday was declared as a government holiday.
A committee has been set up by the government, which co-ordinates with different agencies in both public and private sectors, to organize Children’s Day celebrations across the nation.
Usually, His Majesty the King gives advice addressing the children while the Supreme Monarch Patriarch of Thailand gives a moral teaching. The Prime Minister also usually gives each Children’s Day a theme and a slogan.
Normally, the age of children taking part in the celebrations should be less than fourteen years old.
Many organizations from both government and commercial sectors have celebration activities for children, they can enter zoos or ride buses for free. Local authorities such as the Army, Navy, Air Force bases, Government House and the Parliament House Complex organize special events. These government buildings are usually prohibited to even visitors on ordinary days. These events may include a guided tour and an exhibition. For example, at the Government House children have an opportunity to view the Prime Minister’s office and sit at the bureau. The Royal Thai Air Force usually invites children to go and explore the aircraft.
The Bangkok Bank distributes stationery, such as pens, pencils and books to every child that enters the bank as a community service. By doing so, the bank aims to educate children about saving money and the benefits that it can reap on a long term.