The Blue and Gold

Birthday Celebrations

Back to Article
Back to Article

Birthday Celebrations

Sari Wachtelhausen, Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Everyone has their own birthday tradition. Whether it includes cake, a party with friends, or a small family gathering, people around the world look forward to the one day a year all about them. Where did these traditions come from? How do those in other parts of the world celebrate their birthdays?

The American tradition of birthdays is a combination of ancient traditions. This began in ancient Egypt, where a Pharaoh’s crowning was more important than their actual birthdate. The day they took the throne was celebrated, as the Egyptians believed the new ruler became a divine being. The Greeks celebrated a similar day, where they offered moon-shaped cakes to celebrate the lunar goddess Artemis. According to Huffpost, “…Greeks lit candles and put them on cakes for glowing effects.” This was meant to recreate the beauty of the moon. The Romans were believed to be the first to celebrate the birthday of a common man, not a god or goddess. Romans celebrated the birthdays of friends and family, while the government would celebrate more famous citizens. Notable years in a common man’s life would be celebrated with a cake made of olive oil, wheat flour, grated cheese, and honey. Woman’s birthdays wouldn’t be celebrated until the 12th century. At first, the Christian Church considered birthdays to be tied to pagan gods and refused to celebrate birthdays. During the 4th century, they changed their minds and began celebrating the birthday of Jesus with the Christmas holiday.

The modern day tradition of candles on a cake representing how old you are comes from late 18th century Germany. Children would receive a cake with candles, to blow out with a wish. The industrial revolution provided cakes for the masses instead of just the wealthy. The ingredients needed for these treats became easier to obtain, and bakeries started offering pre-made cakes. The famous song we all sing at a birthday party is based on a song from 1893 called “Good Morning,” which students sang in the morning at school. The lyrics were changed to create the song we all know today.

In other parts of the world, birthday traditions are very different from those in America. In Switzerland, an evil clown named Dominic Deville stalks your child for a week, leaving creepy notes for them. “At the end of a terrifying week, your child will indeed be attacked. Deville, wearing a freaky clown mask, will smash a cake into your child’s face,” stated HuffPost.com. In Hungary, children can expect their earlobes to be pulled seven times for good luck. Your birthday signifies the beginning of your life, and the years yet to come. What is your favorite tradition? Mine is receiving presents, meant to ward of evil spirits.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Birthday Celebrations

    Current News

    How Google Works

  • Birthday Celebrations

    Current News

    Would Good People Kill?

  • Birthday Celebrations

    Arts and Entertainment

    New and Upcoming Movies

  • Birthday Celebrations

    Current News

    Writing

  • Birthday Celebrations

    Current News

    The Id, Ego, And Superego

  • Birthday Celebrations

    Current News

    Census

  • Current News

    Affirmative action is not the solution

  • Birthday Celebrations

    Current News

    False Memories

  • Birthday Celebrations

    Current News

    The Bystander Effect

  • Birthday Celebrations

    Current News

    The Availability Heuristic

Navigate Right
The Student News Site of Bowditch Middle School
Birthday Celebrations