ONE: THE BIRTHDAY (PART ONE)
The birthday is the most widely celebrated anniversary in the world. The celebration of birthdays was spread by Roman soldiers stationed throughout their Empire.
TWO: THE BIRTHDAY CAKE (PART ONE)
The Ancient Greeks first conceived the birthday cake. Apparently, rather than going down the pub for a few pints, they took a moon-shaped cake to the temple of Artemis, Goddess of the Moon, once per year.
THREE: THE BIRTHDAY CAKE CANDLES
Those crazy Greeks also invented birthday cake candles by sticking candles into the cakes to light their way to the temple and celebrate and imitate the light of the moon.
FOUR: THE BIRTHDAY CAKE (PART TWO)
In the Middle Ages, (before Christmas was invented) Germans used to give each other little sweet dough treats in the shape of Jesus, each year, to celebrate his birth. And so began the tradition of giving edible treats on the celebration of someone’s birthday.
FIVE: THE BIRTHDAY CARD
There is absolutely no concrete evidence about who sent the first birthday cards, but we know that the clever Chinese were sending greetings cards to each other long before anyone else. We do know that royalty in England sent each other little decorate cards to celebrate special occasions hundreds of years ago.
SIX: THE BIRTHDAY GIFT/BIRTHDAY PRESENT (PART ONE)
Obviously, if you’re a Christian, or even if you’re not, you’ll be aware that Three Wise Men visited the Baby Jesus when he was born. They brought with them gifts and so the tradition of birthday gifts began.
SEVEN: THE BIRTHDAY GIFT/BIRTHDAY PRESENT (PART TWO)
Birthday presents were given to people on their birthday to bring them happiness (known as good cheer in the olden days) and to fight off evil spirits. The only evil spirit most people need to fight off these days on their birthday is vodka!
EIGHT: THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
Of course, the Greeks gathering to give Artemis her moon-cake (not much of a birthday present) was the first birthday ‘gathering’. But Birthday Parties began on record in Germany, with the celebration of KinderFest, parties to celebrate a child’s life. In times when the life expectancy wasn’t high, celebrating your birthday was a joyous occasion and not just one year older. Of course, attending a birthday party meant bringing the lucky boy or girl a birthday gift.
NINE: BIRTHDAYS (PART TWO)
The Queen of England has TWO birthdays, a real birthday and an official birthday. That must mean she gets loads of birthday presents.
TEN: THE BIRTHDAY SONG
The tune for the Birthday Song was written by Mildred Hills in 1890, her sister later wrote the words we have come to know for it and it was first published in 1935. We can’t write the words to the song here, amazingly, the song is still under copyright protection, which means technically, you should pay a fee each time you sing it!