Birthdays are the absolute best! We all get one, all of our friends get one, and all of our family members get one. That’s the thing I love about birthdays, it’s a full day to celebrate the people you care about. A special day to show them what they mean to you, even if it’s just a phone call or a funny text message. Here’s a few fun facts about birthday celebrations and some ideas for making the day extra special.
Happy Birthday Song
It’s weird to think about the fact that some actually wrote and composed the song “Happy Birthday To You”, which is the proper title. But someone did! The song’s melody is from sisters Patty and Mildred Hill, who worked at an elementary school and created a song called “Good Morning to You”. The song was copyrighted in in 1935, crediting authors Preston Ware Orem and Mrs. R. R. Forman. It is the highest earning single song in history, coming in around $5 million. That’s more than 1 million dollars per line of the song!
Do you ever wonder why we started celebrating birthdays in the first place? Well, turns out we have the ancient Egyptians to thank for that! The Pharaohs coronation date was celebrated as a “birthday” in order to preserve their status as a god. The Greeks took this celebration of the gods and included delicious treats brightly illuminated with candles as an offering, so thank them for every Birthday Cake! Finally in the 12th century, the Romans started celebrating birthdays for the common man, usually around large milestone birthdays like 25 and 50.
Around the World in 365 Days
There’s a lot of ways that birthday traditions differ in different countries. Let’s take a look at just a few of them!
- Ecuador – Children celebrate both their birthday and the feast of the saint they are named after. However for the latter celebration theirs no gifts, just a few cards.
- Vietnam – In Vietnam both children an adults celebrate their birthday at the same time during a celebration known as Tet, which is also considered the beginning of the New Year.
- Jamaica – A fairly funny tradition here is getting “flour bombed” on your birthday, which is exactly what it sounds like. Friends and classmates throw flour of the birthday boy or girl as a way to celebrate!
- Argentina – Kids will get their ears pulled to celebrate, one pull for every year they’ve been alive!
- Germany – A more traditionally stoic affair, people do not wish one another a Happy Birthday unless on the actual date. Adults plan their own party and pay for all of their guests, hmmm…
- Ghana – Birthday celebrations start with a traditional breakfast called Oto, which is sweet potatoes and eggs combined into a patty, and is then fried. Sound delicious!
What are some birthday traditions you and your family celebrate?