Children’s Day, also Brazil’s Patron Saint Day, and vice versa.

October 12th is highlighted in the Brazilian holiday calendar: it is Children’s Day and Our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil’s Patron Saint Day.

Now, in the business calendar, Children’s Day holds a prominent position: it is the third-best business date of the year (Christmas is ranked first, and the second position belongs to Mother’s Day, celebrated on the second Sunday of May).

Shops are crowded on Children’s Day.
Foto: Luiz Fernando Martins/RPCTV (reprodução)

Retail and industry are investing in thematic campaigns to get children’s attention – especially on children’s pay TV channels – as well as that of parents with a mission to buy gifts for children.

Toy store chains are getting prepared for the week before the date: besides parents, uncles, grandparents, and godparents also give nephews, grandchildren, and godchildren presents, who postpone even more their purchases to the last minute. Some stores are much saught-after, and they have to hire extra staff to cope with the season’s sales.

Another season’s behavior is noteworthy : about 2% of Brazilian customers are used to donate toys to needy children, orphanages, and domestic workers’ children. The date is also seen as an opportunity for non-governmental organizations that often align their donation campaigns to the theme during October. There is nothing more touching than the joy of children receiving toys as a gift. The smile of needy children is truly an irresistible image.

Disputing consumer preference for street shops and supermarkets, malls often schedule children’s attractions for the week: exhibitions, amusement park attractions, paint workshops, slimes, and TV attractions – anything goes to attract the little ones and their parents into the malls during the children’s week. After all, even the most organized parents who buy gifts for their children in advance buy a new gift for their children while visiting the mall because they want to spend more time with their children in those days – even if it costs a little extra gift.

Among middle-class Brazilian parents, it is common to enroll their children in school already in preschool for a full-time journey from Monday to Friday. In some cases, children leave school fed and bathed, and sleep at home. Often, some of these parents feel very guilty for prioritizing their professional activities over staying with their children, and exactly this kind of parents are the ones who overvalue gifts trying to show love to their children. For them, children’s day is more than a business date: it is a date to compensate children for their absence in their lives. They move the expensive gifts section of toy store chains and make a point of buying separate gifts (from father to each child, from mother to each child).

Recently, some “non-child” segments have used the “awaken the child in you” appeal to offer the adult audience and to take advantage of the public’s predisposition. The nostalgic tone of communication has a strong emotional appeal. Even pet shop chains decided to take advantage of this targeting childless people (treating their pet as the child of the house) and also among pet owners with children (treating the pet as their own child in the house or the family’s pet).

Basílica de Nossa Senhora Aparecida.
Foto: Thiago Leon/ Santuário Nacional (reprodução)

October 12th is a national holiday in Brazil. It’s been a religious Holiday since 1980 celebrating Brazil’s Patron Saint, Our Lady of Conception Aparecida, lovingly called Our Lady of Aparecida. To experience this Catholic festival, faithful pilgrimages line up to the Basilica of Our Lady Aparecida [1], located in the city of Aparecida, in the State of São Paulo. It is the largest Catholic temple in Brazil and the second largest in the world, second only to St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City.

The Catholic religion is practiced by more than half of the Brazilians that makes Brazil the largest Catholic nation in the world, counting over 100 million Catholic Brazilians. Hence the importance of the religious holiday in Brazil.

October also holds another important celebration that has no significant effect on trade but cannot be disregarded, especially when it comes to understand the behavior of Brazilian consumers: October 15 is Teachers’ Day. This date is best remembered by children in the first years of elementary school (the first five years of study from the first to the fifth grades) because this is when students have only one teacher for all the disciplines[2]. Hence the greater bond and the habit of greeting teacher’s day offering her goodies (chocolates, cards, fruits, etc.).

The teaching profession in Brazil had better days in the past. In recent decades, wages are low, and the challenges are many. And the social recognition of the teacher by the Brazilian society occupies much lower positions than in other countries that value the teaching career.

[1] It is the largest cathedral in the world, as the Vatican Basilica is not a cathedral. It is also the largest religious space in the country, with over 143.000 m² of the built area throughout the Sanctuary. The site is annually visited by approximately 13 million pilgrims from all over Brazil. It may receive 45,000 people. The Basilica can receive up to 43,000 people at a time, its parking area has 272,000 m², with capacity for 2000 buses and 3000 cars.

[2] In the best schools, besides the teacher, there is also an assistant.