Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Super Bowl and Birthdays

First off I wanna say GOOD GAME 49NERS!!! Sure the Raven’s beat us, but it was close and I had a great time watching the game!

My daughter’s birthday was the past weekend, and in the first half of the year a lot of people I know, including me, have birthdays. It really got me thinking about birthdays and how different people celebrate birthdays.

Growing up in my family the person whose birthday it was always got to pick where Mom and Dad took us for dinner. We got to have a party if we wanted one, my mom always got us a cake and we always got a couple presents on our birthday. Nothing too unique, I guess, basic stuff. I usually chose to have a slumber party with all my girlfriends and as I got older, my gay friends.

Now I just try to make my daughters birthdays as happy as I can. They usually get dinner of their choice (sometimes all week) a present and a party. I can’t think of anything specific we do EVERY year, aside from birthday acknowledgement.

 I always throw a kick ass party where everyone gets drunk for my own birthday and my best friend’s birthday. Last year I bought my boyfriend gifts and made his favorite meal at home, Pot Roast. So while I always celebrate them and try to make them fun and exciting I can’t think of any specific birthday traditions my family keeps with.

In my boy’s family on your birthday you didn’t have to do chores…That’s a nice tradition… I still had to. LOL

When my best friend was younger they always had pools parties because her grandparents had a pool, but as she got older birthdays were not a big deal.

Several of my friends throw elaborate parties for their kids, which is awesome and expensive.

Many of my friends answered questions of "what birthday traditions do you have" with answers like : dysfunctional. So sometimes birthdays are less joyful and more a time of stress and disapointment.

Countries and religions all over the world have traditions and superstitions about birthdays.

While most people celebrate their birthday, as the day they were born, in some cultures like Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox like Italy, Spain and France it is custom to celebrate your Name Day. Which is the celebration day of the Saint you are named after.

Birthdays came about because in ancient times your birthday was considered the day bad spirits could harm you, unless you were surrounded by your family and friends and their good wishes. Noise makers were used at these parties to scare away the bad spirits and blowing out candles came about because it was a way of sending a signal or message to the Gods. For a long time Christians would not celebrate birthday considering them a pagan belief system. (So like EVERY major holiday.)

In Judaism the boy’s 13th birthday and the girl’s 12th are very important, a celebration called a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah is held. It means the child has reached religious maturity. They also give flowers to their own mothers since it is their Birth day also

Islam considers the celebration of birthdays to be a sin traditionally, but not everyone who practices Islamic faith holds to this belief.

Here are just some examples of how other cultures celebrate birthdays:

China- on their second birthday babies are placed in the center of a group of things and everyone waits to see what the child will pick up, what it reaches for helps tell the child’s future.

England- people celebrate birthdays with Fortune Telling Cakes. Objects like coins and things are baked into the cake and if you get a piece with a certain object it will predict your future.

Mexico- it sounds clichés but children in Mexico do celebrate their birthday with piñatas, though in Mexico it is filled with toys, money and candy. When girls turn 15 they have a special type of party to honor her.

India- children are taken to a shrine and are blessed on their birthday and then they have a meal with family that usually includes curry and a dessert called dudh pakh, a rice pudding. To receive a gift wrapped in black and white is considered bad luck.

Saudi Arabia- they do not usually celebrate birthdays due to religious beliefs.

Argentina – it is tradition to pull the ear lobe of the child for each year of their birthday. (I have a friend whose family actually DOES this. I guess it is similar to birthday spankings.)

Denmark- the Denmark flag is flown outside the house to show that someone inside is having a birthday. Also if you are not married by the time you are 30 friends and family give you peppermills (pepper shakers) to mark the occasion.

Egypt- they hang garlands called xeena that look like chains of snow flakes around the house.

Ghana- they eat a treat called oto made from sweet potato and eggs and play a game called Ampe.

Holland- certain birthday years are called “crown” years and on a “crown” year the child gets a extra large gift. “Crown” years are birthdays like 5, 10 and 15.

North Korea- if you are born on the 8th of July or 17 of December you change your birthday because those are the dates two of their leaders died.

Here is some fun Birthday Trivia:

Anne Frank’s diary was given to her as a 13th birthday present

William Shakespeare died on his 52nd birthday

More people celebrate their birthday in August than any other month.

A Golden Birthday happens when your age and the date of the day you were born is the same. So mine would have been the year I turned three.

The world’s largest birthday cake was created in 1989 and weighed 128,238 pounds.

All in all birthdays are an interesting holiday to celebrate and while the concepts of most celebrations are the same, the way people choose to do so can differ, largely.

So from my home to yours Happy Birthday.


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