Children's Day, a national holiday in Mongolia, is celebrated on June 1st. Technically, I believe it's Children's and Mother's Day, but kids are really celebrated on this day. Women's Day is celebrated in March, when all women, not just mother's, are honored. Here in Arvikheer, a new Children's Park has been built since my arrival and the park was crowded and appreciated by many on Children's Day. The ferris wheel has been up for months, (before winter) and the rest of the rides and area seem to have appeared since late April. It's amazing to me how quickly some things happen here, i.e., construction! With the limited number of good weather days (above freezing, long hours of sunlight, etc). when things need to be completed, it happens!
I had just been walking around the area of the park a few weeks earlier (yes, looking for dung for the garden) and it was pretty empty.... All the sudden there is (in addition to the ferris wheel), several other rides including a merry go round, a tall hanging swing ride, a pharoh's boat ride, and an above ground pond where paddle boat rides were offered! It is an amazing little place for this small town and is located right next to the new (as of last summer) soccer field (where teams pay to play there) and across the road from the new sports complex (also new last year).
A couple friends and I walked around, enjoying watching the kids have fun and admiring the festive atmosphere! It was quite crowded and most children were all dressed up; even in the dry dusty park!
Just outside the park area were vendors selling ice cream, drinks, snacks and toys of all sorts... Lots of happy children everywhere! Children are a society's most precious resource and though there are issues with child welfare and safety, (just like everywhere!), it is heartwarming to experience a day dedicated to the celebration of children!