No matter where you live you have probably celebrated your birthday in one way or another. Birthday parties mark another year gone; this can be exciting especially as we get old enough to drive or frightening as we get older and want to celebrate 29 again and again. In ancient times birthdays were a time when evil spirits could harm you so to protect yourself you had your family and friends around you their well wishes were a way of protecting you.
Birthdays are celebrated in many ways around the world in many countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico and Uruguay they celebrate the girls 15th birthday with the Waltz. At this age she is considered of suitable age and dances the waltz first with her father and grandfather then with possible suitors. When a girl turns 15 in Ecuador there is a great celebration and the girl wears a pink dress. The father puts on the birthday girls first pair of high heels and dances the waltz with her while 14 maids and 14 boys also dance. In the United States when a girl turns 16 she has a great celebration known as a sweet sixteen. Family and friends are invited and it is a elaborate celebration of her turning into a young women.
In some countries such as Brazil Hungry, and Italy the birthday is celebrated with ear lobe pulling and in Scotland it is a smack on the bottom. In Puerto Rico they celebrate the birthday with taps on the arm one for each year. Some countries celebrate with chair raising and in Jamaica the birthday child is floured while music plays. In Germany if you are a man and turn 30 without a girl friend you are made to sweep the steps of the city hall.
Some countries such as Africa and Vietnam they celebrate birthdays in groups. In Vietnam all birthdays are celebrated on New Year’s Days while in many countries they hold elaborate celebrations for each child’s birthday. Many countries include special food into the celebration; in China and the Philippines they serve noodles which are a sign of good fortune. While in Russia the birthday child is presented with a birthday pie with a special greeting carved into it. Ghana and Guyana include traditional dishes into the celebration as well. The United States, Cuba and Germany as well many other countries across the world the main event is the birthday cake decked with candles one for each year. These candles were said to be able to shine to the Gods so that they knew that there was a birthday. Most people believe that when you blow out the candles that you will receive a wish.
Some celebrations include marking the child or the house as in Nepal with a mark on the forehead or in Canada where they ambush the child and grease their nose. In Lithuania garlands are hung around the entire door and in Denmark flags are flown from the widows all to show that someone in the house is having a birthday.
No matter how you celebrate your birthday it is a special day in your life an ancient tradition that still holds today with candles, gift giving,and well wishing; a celebration of life.