Uruguay Children’s Day is observed annually in Uruguay on January 6. Also known as Epiphany or Day of the Child (Día del Niño), the public holiday focuses on giving presents to children as part of the Christmas season. While children receive gifts on Christmas Day in other parts of the world, Uruguayan children receive theirs on Día del Niño. The night before, little ones polish their shoes and leave them outside expecting the kings’ presents. On the morning of Día del Niño, they wake up to find their shoes filled with gifts from ‘the wise men.’
History of Uruguay Children's Day/Ephiphany
In the Western world, children are typically given presents on Christmas Day. However, in Uruguay, the gift-giving is postponed until January 6. It is worthy of note that Day of the Child wasn’t always on the country’s calendar. In fact, in the rest of Latin America, January 6 is celebrated as Día de Los Reyes (Day of the Three Kings) or Epiphany. This annual Catholic holiday is marked to commemorate the visit of the ‘wise men from the east’ to the site where Jesus was born, as documented by the Christian Bible in the “Gospel of Matthew.” However, Uruguay erased Catholic holidays from the calendar because of a unique event in 1919.
There were several significant occurrences before the exclusion of Catholicism from the Uruguayan calendar. Under José Batlle y Ordóez’s direction, religious instruction in public schools was abolished in 1909. Then, the church and the state were formally divided by the 1917 Constitution. A liberal elite won a crucial fight in Parliament in 1919 and eliminated Catholicism from the calendar. Christmas Day became Family Day, Easter or Holy Week became Tourism Week, and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception was renamed Beach Day as a result of the secularization of religious holidays. As a result, ‘Da de los Reyes’ is today referred to as ‘Da del Nio,’ or ‘Day of the Child.’ On this day, children receive presents from their parents and other adults.
Uruguay Children's Day/Ephiphany timeline
Religious education is eliminated from public schools under the direction of the former president José Batlle y Ordóez.
Día de Los Reyes is changed to Day of the Child or Día del Niño in Uruguay’s calendar.
World Children’s Day is observed for the first time on June 1.
International Children’s Day is founded by the United Nations Organization (U.N.).
Uruguay Children's Day/Ephiphany FAQs
How many times is Children’s Day celebrated in Uruguay?
Although Uruguay celebrates Day of the Child on January 6, Children’s Day is also celebrated on August 14 every year.
Who is the President of Uruguay?
The current president of Uruguay is President Luis Lacalle Pou.
Is Uruguay a rich country?
Yes. Uruguay is the South American country with the highest average income per capita and the second-richest country in South America.
Uruguay Children's Day/Ephiphany Activities
Children are light and joy. Their precious innocence inspires us to have child-like faith. This Uruguay Children’s Day, celebrate a child around you by giving them gifts and spending quality time with them.
Give to a child-focused charity
Not all children are privileged to receive a present during the Christmas and New Year seasons. Give to a child-focused charity to make the season special for at-risk children in under-served communities.
Go back to childhood memories
On this day, reminisce a little about your favorite childhood memories. If possible, reinvent some of your favorite activities or let your children be a part of the same experience, if you have any.
5 Fascinating Facts About Uruguay
Uruguay is pretty small
In all of South America, Uruguay is the smallest Spanish-speaking country,
The name’s meaning
The name ‘Uruguay’ means ‘river of the painted birds,’ or ‘river where the birds live,’ or ‘river of the snails.’
It consumes the most beef per person
Uruguay is the country with the highest amount of beef consumed per person.
It hosted the first World Cup
The first-ever World Cup tournament took place in Uruguay in 1930.
It has a national drink
Uruguay has a national drink called ‘mate,’ a tea made by boiling the leaves of the yerba mate plant.
Why We Love Uruguay Children's Day/Ephiphany
Children are unique
Children are unique, precious, and they bring us joy. This emphasizes how priceless children are and what a privilege it is to have them enter the world.
Gifts are an expression of love
One of the most effective ways of showing love is by giving gifts. On this holiday, children are privileged to receive presents from the people they love the most and showered with special attention.
It creates bonding
This holiday also creates a time for bonding in families. The holiday is an opportunity for families to gather and show love to one another.
Uruguay Children's Day/Ephiphany dates