Why do we celebrate birthdays and have birthday parties in honor of the celebrant? It all started when people took notice of the moon’s cycles and made a system to track time called the calendar. This made people recognize their birth dates and thus celebrated it each passing year. The first celebrations were made during the rise of Christianity and they believed that evil spirits harmed people especially during the time of their birthday. Thus, birthday parties and celebrations were made wherein the celebrant is surrounded by his loved ones and friends to make him happy and ward off the evil spirits. Gifts were not even part of birthday celebrations before, but guests offered their warm wishes and good thoughts to the celebrant.
Before, only the kings and royalty threw birthday parties in honor of themselves. This is where the birthday crowns came into tradition. As time passed by, children also celebrated their birthdays were the first one was recorded to be in Germany called Kinderfeste. Eventually, birthdays and birthday parties became widespread all over the world.
Birthdays are being celebrated differently according to regions. Traditions as well as the environment change how the people around them experience the festivities. In Africa, birthdays are not celebrated during a person’s actual birth date but when the child is welcomed into the community. Latin American girls fifteenth birthdays are special as it marks her initiation to adulthood. The Quinceanera is a religious celebration that is mostly held in a church with a candle ceremony.
In the Middle East, particularly Egypt, birthday parties are celebrated with lots of singing and dancing. The venue is decorated with plenty of flowers and fruits as this are symbols of growth. In Israel, a birthday celebrant is made to sit on a chair also adorned with flowers and his loved ones surround his chair.
The Chinese people often pay tribute to his or her parents during his or her birthday and the parents give them money as a present. Typical birthday parties are celebrated with their friends and relatives during lunch while noodles are served to them to represent long life. Indians celebrate their birthday parties with colorful clothes as well as chocolates. Balloons also adorn the place and the child celebrant gives away chocolates to his or her friends.
In England, birthday cards are sent to the celebrant and this tradition has started over a hundred years ago. The Danish people love their country so much that when they have their birthday parties, they raise their country’s flag outside of their house. In the United States, many Americans have their birthday parties with cakes. They light a number of candles on them and it represents the age of the celebrant. The person makes a wish to himself before blowing out the candles and it is believed that they should not reveal the wish to anyone for it to come true. Singing the song ‘Happy Birthday To You’ has been also a tradition of many birthday parties to wish the celebrant well.