I happen to really enjoy birthdays. The cards, presents, cake, and most of all, bringing the family together.
Having recently passed a milestone, it got me thinking about how birthdays are celebrated around the world.
Traditionally, in most western cultures, the day is commemorated (as above) with cards, presents and of course the famous song - happy birthday to you. There's also the well established custom of making a wish as you cut the first piece of birthday cake.
Maryland Family Magazine has an article listing some interesting customs from around the world. Some include:
- Hong Kong: Extra long noodles are served as birthday lunch to symbolize longevity.
- Philippines: Flashing lights outside the home indicate that a birthday is being celebrated inside
- Denmark: The national flag is flown outside the home. The parents of the child celebrating their birthday put presents around their child's bed and wait there for them to wake up.
- Russia: Children are given pies, as opposed to cake, with a birthday greeting written on the pie.
- Sweden: On birthdays, children are given breakfast in bed.
How are birthdays celebrated in your family? Let us know in the comments below.
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