How Birthday is celebrated around the World


Different cultures carry unique traditions and practices. Thus, what might be typical in the United States can be a totally different thing in other parts of the world, and celebrating a birthday is no exclusion. We already know how birthday is celebrated in the US, and so let’s discover how some other countries across the globe carry out the commemoration of birth.

New Year is everybody’s birthday

That’s right! At least for the people living under Vietnam’s customs, a new year is a plus one on everyone’s age disregarding the exact day or date of which one is born on. “Lucky Money” contained in an envelope is usually given by adults to the young ones for turning a year older as a congratulatory gift.

Dance at 15

15 is a significant number in Argentina. This is due to the fact that, comparable to a debut, girls on their 15th birthday gets to dance a waltz rhythm with their father and other boys. A familiar tradition is also followed by those living in Ecuador where a girl celebrating her 15th birthday dons a pink dress, wears first pair of high heels and dance the waltz with her father and 14 pairs of maids and boys.

Noodles for long life

There is a connection between life and noodles, at least that is what the Chinese people believe. Aside from paying respect to elders, most especially to the parents, and receiving gifts of money at the same time, the child celebrant gets to celebrate his/her birthday with friends and relatives who will be served with noodles to wish the him/her long life.

A crown year birthday

5, 10, 15, 20 and 21 are special numbers for the people living in Holland. Any of these numbers correspond to a crown year birthday in which the celebrant gets a special kind of treatment. For instance, the dining chair of the celebrant gets decorated with balloons, streamers and followers by family members.

Initiation instead of birthday

How would you like to be initiated instead of celebrating your birthday? In Africa, groups of children having initiation ceremonies to take instead of birthdays. Children are made to learn the tribes’ dances, songs, customs, the things they believe in and the laws they about follow when they are of certain age.

Buttered nose

Not meant to confuse, but in Atlantic Canada the celebrant’s nose is greased intentionally with butter as people here believe that doing so would make the him/her too slimy for ill luck to hold.

Punches for good luck

That’s a pain right there, but it’s true for the settlers in Quebec – might be bad if the birthday boy’s or girl’s age is already or turning double digit. What people here do is that the celebrant receives a number of punches corresponding to his/her living years, plus a final punch for good luck. Ouch!

Interesting birthday traditions, right? Now, there are probably countless of practices when it comes to celebrating a natal day that the above list left off. If you know a birthday tradition, feel free to include it here via the comment box below.


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