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Celebrating Children’s Day (Wan Dek) In Thailand

Celebrating Children’s Day (Wan Dek) In Thailand

There are many things that the world commemorates. From the coming of the new year to environmental conservation, we’ve set aside specific days, weeks, or months of the year to remember things that matter.

Children’s Day in Thailand (also called Wan Dek) is celebrated every second Saturday of January with entertaining and educational activities. This day reminds everyone that children are as vital as adults to the world’s progress.

Continue reading to learn more about Children’s Day, its origins, and how it’s celebrated in Thailand. We also have a few suggestions on the best things you can do with your kids on this happy day.

What is Children’s Day?

Children’s Day is a special celebration commemorated on various days in different countries around the world. The goal of this celebration is to honour and recognize the importance of children in our national and global society. 

Many countries use this commemorative day to raise awareness about significant issues affecting children. This awareness advocates for, and helps safeguard the well-being of the youngest members of our families.

However, countries don’t celebrate their Children’s Day on the same date; some even celebrate it for a week. Different themes tailored to each country’s culture and traditions are also attached to this day for a more meaningful and relevant commemoration.

There is also an assigned day for the global celebration of children called World Children’s Day. This day is a yearly commemoration of the United Nations (UN) Declaration of the Rights of the Child, done every 20th of November.

The categorisation of Children’s Day as a holiday (where there is no work) or simply a national observance also varies for each country.

Origins of Children’s Day

Children’s Day had its earliest roots in the late 1890s. A Christian church in Massachusetts, USA, devoted a day to the baptism of infants and the re-dedication of their parents to Christianity.

After years of different iterations of this first celebration, even government agencies have picked up the tradition. However, the intentions have also varied significantly. 

Most notable was the declaration of International Children’s Day in 1925 at the World Conference on Child Welfare in Geneva, Switzerland. Soon came the UN’s November 20th commemoration in 1959 we’ve discussed above.

Today, Children’s Day celebrations often consist of parades, parties, and other fun and educational events.

What is Thailand’s Children’s Day?

What is Thailand’s Children's Day

Children’s Day is a national observance widely celebrated in Thailand, especially by government agencies and educational institutions. The locals call it Wan Dek (วันเด็กแห่งชาติ). 

This day has the same goal as its international counterparts—celebrating and recognizing children’s importance in Thai society. In the Thai tradition, the Prime Minister gives a motto for each year’s Children’s Day celebration. 

However, there have been calls to re-assess the importance of Children’s Day in Thailand due to the world’s consistently changing social norms. 

This video from Thai PBS World asks the question of the effect of the digital age on the significance of Wan Dek:

Nevertheless, the Thai national belief that every generation should care for children properly remains as strong as ever. 

Raising Thai children with proper education and values will lead them to become excellent and intelligent adults who will build Thailand into a more prosperous state.

When is Thailand’s Children’s Day?

Thailand’s Children’s Day is celebrated annually on the second Saturday of January. Note the initial lack of exact date—the actual date of each observance varies year by year.

Thailand has been observing this celebration since 1955 (2498 B.E.). However, Thailand didn’t always celebrate Children’s Day on this date. 

It used to observe Wan Dek on the first Monday of October. This schedule proved to be quite a hassle for the children and adults because October is still part of the monsoon season, and Monday is a work day.

Thus, Thai Children’s Day was moved to the second Saturday of January in the 1960s so that everyone would fully enjoy the day.

How do Thais Celebrate Children’s Day?

How do Thais Celebrate Children's Day

Thais celebrate Children’s day or Wan Dek in the most colourful yet insightful ways. Thai children generally get presents, awards, extra attention, and teachings from their parents, teachers, and other adults on Wan Dek.

Events and activities, such as awarding ceremonies, contests, sporting events, and other forms of entertainment for kids, are held during Wan Dek. 

These are frequently headed by government agencies, educational institutions, and other organisations for the occasion, like the Thai Ministry of Education in this NBT World video from 2020:

Other examples of Children’s Day events include the only day when Thailand’s Government House (Parliament) opens up to the public. Here, kids can even meet the Prime Minister.

Various military facilities open up for Children’s Day installations and guided tours where kids can see and interact with uniformed personnel. This video from the AFP News Agency shows how festive military facilities can get on Thai Children’s Day.

Contests and sporting events showcase the skills and talents of Thai children. These also teach good values like honesty, kindness, and integrity. 

Many educational activities also abound since the Thais believe intelligent children will bring the country prosperity. Children who’ve excelled in various categories also get awards for their excellent efforts.

Kids often get to eat their favourite foods. Access to many private and public services, like train stations, zoos, and museums, is also available to children for free or at discounted prices.

However, it’s not only the children who enjoy Wan Dek. For adults, this day is when families come together and celebrate the joys and wonders of childhood by going to amusement parks, malls, or even just bonding together at home.

For more serious matters, Wan Dek brings adults to the forefront of the awareness of children’s rights and issues such as child labor and child abuse.

Wan Dek isn’t only a time for adults to commemorate and celebrate children. It’s also a chance to advocate for kids’ rights, promote their well-being, and bring attention to problems that affect them, such as child labour and abuse.

This day also helps adults reflect on their role in shaping children’s lives and futures and commit to positively impacting the lives of these young people.

Best Things to Do on Children’s Day

Best Things to Do on Children’s Day

Wan Dek, or Thai Children’s Day, has many activities and events for children and adults. Here are some of the best things to do on Children’s Day.

Parades and Festivities

Any celebration won’t be complete without a parade to start it off. Children’s Day isn’t an occasion that won’t have one.

Kids and parents can watch or join Children’s Day parades at school or in their communities to celebrate. Little tots will not get bored seeing all those colourful floats, balloons, and costumes.

Suppose your neighborhood plans to have a parade or any other festivity on Children’s day. In that case, you might want to check out these great balloon suppliers and party stores!


Different types of indoor and outdoor parks are always a hit for children. 

Wan Dek is definitely the perfect time to bring your kids to their favourite amusement park. They could play with toys and slide with their playmates all day at indoor playgrounds.

If your kid wants a bigger adventure, you can take them to theme parks. We’re sure you’ll get to enjoy the rides as well!

You can always go right to the parks for a good time.

Sporting Events

Schools may hold tournaments or intramural events where children can display their physical skills while having fun with their peers. Sports like football, swimming, tennis, and badminton are popular physical activities in schools.

Get your kids ready with gear from top fitness equipment shops.

Quality Family Time

Suppose your kid or the rest of the family doesn’t feel like going out and mingling with enormous crowds. 

In that case, there’s nothing wrong with just staying home and creating quality family time. Doing so can be more beneficial due to less stress and expenses.

Your family can just have a great lunch or dinner at home. You can easily order your children’s favourite cake or some pizza for delivery (you can also surprise them with a gift)!

You can also go on a picnic or go camping. Although in simple ways, there are still many possibilities for fun and stimulating things to do to enjoy Children’s Day.

Regardless of the activity you choose on Children’s Day, always remember that Wan Dek is a celebration of children.

FAQs on Celebrating Children’s Day in Thailand

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