Sunday, February 27, 2011

Happy Birthday To You !

Birthdays are the best and exciting parts, right? Some people just love birthday celebration. But there are also people who like to keep it low. Do you know that different countries have different ways of celebrating birthdays? Below are descriptions about numerous traditions in celebrating birthdays.

India: On the first birthday of a Hindu child, he or she is tonsured. Removal of the hair symbolizes the renewal of the soul. The birthday boy or the girl usually wears new clothes and seek the blessings of their parents and elders by touching their feet. Many even visit a shrine and offer prayers. At school the birthday child wears a colored dress and passes out chocolates to the entire class. Meal may include spicy curry, chutney and rice pudding as the dessert.

China: When a Chinese girl or boy turns one year old, its a special event. A variety of objects and toys such as dolls, coins, books, etc. are placed on the floor around the child. According to ancient beliefs, the object that the child picks up symbolises his pursuit in his life. In China people believe that tigers protect children. Family members bring newborns special food and present them with gifts of clothing or toys decorated with tigers. Clock as a birthday gift is considered unlucky. Noodles are served for lunch. The birthday child pays respect to his or her parents and receives a gift of money. Friends and relatives come over for lunch. 

Korea: In Korea on the 100th day after a child's birth (Paegil), a small feast is held to celebrate the fact that the child has survived the period. The family, relatives and friends celebrate with rice cakes, wine and other delicacies such as red and black bean cakes sweetened with sugar or honey. It is the popular belief that if the rice cakes are shared with 100 people, it will result in the long life of the child. Those receiving rice cakes do not return the empty serving vessels, but with skeins of thread expressing the hope of longevity, and with rice and money symbolizing prosperity. To prevent disaster and to bring the child luck and happiness, red bean cakes are placed at the four compass points within the house. 

Malaysia: The family members and friends gather together to enjoy food during the birthday celebrations. The birthday child is gifted with an "ang-bao" which is a small red packet filled with money. When the teenagers invite their friends to the birthday parties, they may sing together, dance or even play musical instruments.

Egypt: Egyptian birthday parties brim over with song, dance, fun and frolic when a child turns one year old. Flowers and fruit are used to decorate the party as symbols of life and growth.

Germany:  In Germany, a children's birthday celebration is called a Geburtstagsparty. German children are never given any household chores or homework on their birthdays. The house is decorated and a wooden birthday wreath is placed on the dining table. The wreath contains small holes for candles and a holder in the center where the lifecandle is placed. It is a tall and beautifully embellished candle. A member of the family lights the candles at sunrise. The candles are kept burning all day long. The birthdayboy or the girl blows off the candles after dinner that night. The wish of the person comes true if all the candles are blown out at one go.There is however a very curious ritual among the Germans. When men reach the age of 30 and they still don't have a girlfriend that they have to sweep the stairs of the city hall. All there friends will throw rubble on the stairs and when you're finished they'll throw some more rubble there. This way every girl can see that this man reached the age of 30 and still doesn't have a girlfriend.

Canada: Greasing the nose with butter or margarine is a common practice among the Canadians. In Atlantic Canada (Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland) the birthday child is ambushed and their nose is greased for good luck. The idea is that the greased nose makes the child too slippery for bad luck to catch them. This tradition can be traced back to Scottish roots. In Quebec the birthday person receives a punch for each year they are alive and then one extra for good luck.

Brazil: The Brazilian children usually eat fruit and vegetable shaped candies on their birthday. Festive banners and bright colored flowers are used to decorate the house. Brazilians pull on the earlobes of the birthday boy or girl for each year of their birthday. The birthday person also gives the first slice of cake to his/her most special friend or relative, usually mom or dad.

For more information, you can read it here. And lastly, please enjoy this Birthday Song from the Beatles :D

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