Birthdays are the time to count your blessings, not the years.. Yes, we should celebrate every day of life, but birthdays do have that extra edge, they are extra special.
The first instance in history that mentions a birthday celebration can be found in “Genesis”, the first book of the Bible. It mentions the first Pharaoh of Egypt, Ra the Sun God, celebrating his birth with a feast with his servants. In fact the event had the underlying autocratic emotion that the celebration was to felicitate the Pharaoh because he graced the lives of the people by being born.Here are the reasons in a chronological order as to how birthdays came to be celebrated.
In Egypt the Pharaohs on being coroneted were considered to have transformed into Gods. Thus it was the day of the birth of a God, and the occasion was celebrated with great pomp and show.
The Greeks adopted the idea of birthday celebrations from the Egyptians and on the occasion of birthdays, they celebrated their Gods and Goddesses.
The Romans were the first to begin the celebration of birthdays of the common man. However, only men celebrated their birthdays, and it was the 12th C before the women joined in.
For the Christian celebration of birthdays was a pagan act till around the 4th C. They changed their mind to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ as Christmas.
Birthdays celebrations were out of reach of the common man till the Industrial Revolution as the cakes, an integral part of birthday celebrations, were beyond their reach. But the revolution changed the scenario with mass production and affordable cakes.
The birthday song was conceived in 1924 in a songbook by Robert Coleman.
No matter what the origin, there is no doubt about the fact that birthdays are perfect to connect and re-connect with the people in one’s life. A time to bond, a time to celebrate life.
Birthday bumps are the order of the day in Ireland and England where the birthday boy/girl are lifted into the air and bumped on the ground for good luck
In Hungary, after the opening of the presents, the guests pull the ear lobe of the birthday boy/girl wishing a life so long that the ears reach the ankles.
In Canada the birthday boy/girl are pinned to the floor and their nose is greased with butter.
In Vietnam everyone celebrates their birthday on the day of New Year known as Tet.
The tradition of smearing the cake on the birthday boy/girl’s face, which has spread around the world like a wildfire, comes from Venezuela where the face of the person celebrating the birthday is literally plunged into the cake.
In Switzerland the parents hire an evil looking clown who will follow the birthday boy/girl menacingly and conclude with a pie on the face.
In the Caribbean, especially in Jamaica, copious amounts of flour is thrown on the birthday boy/girl, even by random onlookers. The aim is that the flour should be difficult to remove.
USA joins in with the latest addition to the birthday traditions where additional cakes are baked for the revellers to simply destroy the cake, and create as much mess as their heart desires.
Last Updated: 7th September, 2018